A passion for child protection has been the fuel behind the successful career of Griffith Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) graduate Susie Upton who is the co-founder of Brisbane-based counselling and psychology service Child Aware.

Susie’s passion has been to provide essential counselling and training services within the child mental health sector, as well as provide an invaluable bridge between the not-for-profit sector and private practice.

“Unfortunately a significant disparity still exists between the private and not-for-profit sectors when it comes to mental health. Our mission at Child Aware is to bridge that gap in accessibility for people who may not have the resources to get the full range of counselling services,” says Susie, who comes from the Gold Coast.

“So for example, at Child Aware, we have a number of funding options that families can access to receive services with rebates. It takes away the complexities and stress for them.”

To date, Child Aware has two different sites from where it conducts around 150 client sessions per week – one in Woolloongabba and another in Carina which opened in 2013. The company also has a team of 25 people working for or with Child Aware in some capacity.

“We have 13 registered psychologists and four admin team members, so we are very pleased with the progress we’ve made. We have certainly come a long way from the early days learning everything the hard way and doing letterbox drops because we had no client base!

“Long term I think we have the capacity to grow further, but in the meantime we are bedding down our procedures to continue to be the truly sustainable, reliable service that we want to be in the child mental health space. At our heart, our goal is always working in the best interests of children.”

“It’s also great to now be supervising Griffith psychology students that come through our practice on placements,” she says. “I find the Griffith psychology programs have a very practical focus which gives students a real edge when it comes to working in the real world of psychology practice.”

  • Child Aware Counselling and Psychology Services