Mental health access streamlined with new ‘one-stop’ service

AUSTRALIANS suffering mental health issues will only have to dial one dedicated phone number to immediately access the help they need under a new federal reform plan.

The single phone line service is part of the Federal Government's new digital gateway to help people with a mental illness navigate through services currently available.

Warwick headspace manager Sophia McLucas welcomed the introduction of the new phone number.

"I think it's a great idea as it would cut out so much confusion about where to go and who to see," Mrs McLucas said.

"A single number would simplify things a lot and would direct people to services they would need."

Health Minister Sussan Ley said the phone number would form part of a "one-stop shop" to give Australians easy access to high-quality mental health advice and resources.

"There are many fantastic phone counselling and advice services in Australia, but with so many different numbers available, it can be difficult for people to navigate themselves to the right service in their time of need," Ms Ley said.

"That's why we want to improve access to the right help when and where people need it with a trained, helping voice at the end of the line to point people in the right direction."

The Federal Government spends more than $42 million funding phone and online mental health services each year.

Ms Ley said work would begin on the digital gateway this financial year and it would be progressively rolled out from 2016-17 as part of the broader three-year reform plan, with all staff trained in emergency situations.



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