Latest news: The department's external Employee Assistance Provider (EAP) provider Optum has changed its name to LifeWorks by Mornaeu Shepell. All services previously offered by Optum have not changed and will continue to be available to departmental staff.
When you call the 1800 604 640 call centre number, you will be greeted with "Optum" by the automated answering system that directs you to choose a service (eg counselling). When you are transferred to the next stage of the call you will be greeted by a person who will answer "LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell", everything else will be the same.
The Department of Education will continue to engage external Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, LifeWorks by Morneau Schepell to provide free, short-term, confidential counselling services for both staff and immediate family members and to provide confidential manager support services for all department staff with supervisory responsibilities.
External counselling services -
LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell - Phone: 1800 604 640.
No referral is required. Staff or immediate family members wishing to book either a free face-to-face, telephone or video counselling session should call LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell's contact centre on
telephone 1800 604 640. Issues can be work or non-work related ranging from minor stressors to more serious concerns including drug and alcohol issues, finance concerns, relationship challenges, serious psychological health issues and domestic and family violence issues.
This is a 24/7 telephone number. Urgent after hours counselling requests will be put through to an on call counsellor. All non-urgent counselling requests received after hours will be booked to occur during business hours (8am - 6pm).
LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell have a large number of counsellors located across the state in all major regional areas for staff wanting a face to face appointment. In smaller regional and more remote areas, LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell is able to provide telephone or video counselling.
All staff and their immediate family members are entitled to access up to 4 counselling sessions per calendar year.
Principals and managers
Principals and Managers play an important role in promoting employee wellbeing and positive working relationships. Referral to the employee assistance service for counselling and support may assist employees with early signs of stress.
LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell also offer a
Manager Hotline (telephone only) for all staff with supervisory responsibilities. Access to this service is via the
LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell's 1800 604 640 phone number.
Emergencies or natural disasters
On-site support services following a potentially traumatic event or disaster are also available. For schools, these services are to be requested via the Regional Office and for Central Office/CBD workplaces, through
Organisational Safety and Wellbeing.
For information on EAP services in the event of an emergency or natural disaster please download the following fact sheets:
Special leave and support following an emergency or natural disaster
For more information on special leave entitlements in the event of an emergency or natural disaster please download the fact sheet
Accessing Special Leave during disasters and emergencies (DOCX, 341KB).
If you would like to provide feedback about your external Employee Assistance experience, you are welcome to email
Immediately after a natural disaster, and during recovery efforts, it is common to experience some symptoms of psychological distress. With the support of colleagues, family and friends, most people will recover emotionally without the need for professional assistance. However, some people may be at risk of developing mental health problems without professional assistance. While some may benefit from psychological support almost immediately after a trauma such as a natural disaster, others may need to seek assistance weeks or even months afterwards.
Staff and immediate family members can contact the department's Employee Assistance Program (available on OnePortal) provider, LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell on
1800 604 640 if they require telephone or face-to-face counselling after a natural disaster. There is a 24/7 emergency telephone counselling is available during the term and over the holiday periods.
Managers wanting advice on how to assist staff cope with the emotional aftermath of a natural disaster are also able to call the Manager Hotline on telephone
1800 604 640 for free, confidential consultations with senior advisors.