Ministers say new mental health support line could 'save lives'

  • Ministers say new mental health support line could 'save lives'

Ministers say new mental health support line could 'save lives'

The Your Mental Health Information Line is a confidential freephone service that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The helpline has already received over 400 calls since it came into operation in September.

"The Government has increased the budget for mental health significantly in recent years; we'll spend just over €1 billion on mental health services next year".

Mr Harris said it will give people with mental health challenges direct access to services as opposed to searching websites and Googling for answers: "This is 24/7, any day of the week, anytime of the day".

Speaking at the launch, he said the services "either overlap or there are gaps between them".

It aims to provide information on the various mental health supports and services that are available nationwide.

"In Victoria and around the country, there is an unprecedented appetite for change to the way we support people and families affected by poor mental health".

"We all know that maintaining mental health and well being is essential and positive mental health enhances our ability to cope with the stresses of everyday life, makes us more engaged, more productive, more content citizens".

She said the interim report had recognised the importance of universal aftercare for people at risk of suicide, the power of peer support workforces and the need for more support for the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

"So this helpline launched today can and will connect people to the right service at the right time.

I am pleased that the HSE and the National Ambulance Service are working together on this new information line, which we all hope will help people access mental health services when they need them".

"However, it also became apparent pretty quickly that the vast majority of people did not know what the different service providers offered, what was available in their area, or how to get in touch with them".

They are all fully trained to provide information on the relevant supports and services to callers.

The Minister for Health Simon Harris said it will provide "advice, guidance and assistance at a very hard time" for people.

"We also need to look at how we build resilience in all of us as people, and it can't be the whole Homer Simpson analogy of can't someone else do it", he added.

The freephone service can be contacted on 1800 111 888.