ACT provides free, confidential counselling about issues concerning HIV, sexual health, mental health and substance use.
ACT provides free, confidential counselling to anyone who is living with HIV, knows someone living with HIV, or is concerned about their risk of HIV. We provide a range of counselling services free of charge to those who have trouble accessing quality care due to poverty, sexism, gender identity, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, racism, xenophobia, drug use and social isolation.
ACT’s Counselling Services
We are committed to trauma-informed, harm reduction based, anti-oppression practices to help empower people living with HIV, those at risk for HIV, friends, and families, as well as those affected by or concerned about HIV & AIDS, and to enhance participation in their communities and in the broader society.
Counsellors will meet with you at ACT offices, over the phone, in other locations, such as coffee shops, or by Zoom. There is no need to give a real name if anonymity or confidentiality is a concern. Couples counselling, grief/bereavement counselling, and counselling for a partner of someone living with HIV are all available.
How you can Access ACT Counselling Services
ACT offers scheduled counselling sessions. We offer counselling by staff who are experienced in HIV, sexual health, substance use and other psychosocial issues. We use a stepped care approach to assess service users needs during our new Mental Health Initial Assessment.
Our Stepped Care model offers:
- Commitment to our communities’ main needs.
- Preventive and coordinated mental health support.
- Early intervention and effective access to mental health services.
Guiding Principles of Counselling at ACT
Counselling at ACT values the following principles: you are in control of what you talk about, your counsellor will work collaboratively with you, and ACT counsellors value and respect your autonomy.
When you work with a counsellor at ACT, you will not be stigmatized for the sex you have or want to have, your HIV status, the person you are or want to be, the substances/drugs you use or want to use, and the experiences which inform who you are. You are welcome to bring all your complexity into counselling with you.
The therapeutic approaches of ACT counsellors:
ACT counsellors draw from a range of evidence-based therapeutic approaches, including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Person-Centred Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI) among others. You can expect an explanation as to which modalities your counsellor uses when you meet for the first time, and a discussion on which fits best for you. All counsellors at ACT place great importance on the relationship between you and them and take care to work with you from where you are at.