Minister Congratulates Improved Access to Mental Health Hotlines
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler has congratulated Vodafone Hutchinson Australia’s decision to abolish call charges to a number of front line national suicide prevention hotlines - including Kids Helpline and Lifeline.
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11 March 2011
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler today congratulated Vodafone Hutchinson Australia’s decision to abolish call charges to a number of front line national suicide prevention hotlines - including Kids Helpline and Lifeline.
Mr Butler said that Vodafone and 3 customers who wish to contact mental health services via their mobile phones will do so free of charge from next week.
“The decision by Vodafone and the 3 Network is a significant step towards encouraging those who might not call the hotlines due to the cost involved and remove the financial barrier that many people face.
“The core objective of mental health services provided via telephone is to encourage people seeking help to stay on the line so they can talk through their issues with a qualified telephone counsellor.
“The costs of calling from a mobile phone may have discouraged people from calling on their mobile phones and get the counselling and assistance that they seek.
“I understand that almost a third of calls to organisations such as Lifeline come from mobile phones, so this initiative is welcomed by providers of telephone counselling services and I encourage other mobile phone providers to consider doing the same”.
Mr Butler added that free mobile phone access to young people who are reaching out for help and support is critically important and they will now be more willing to reach out and talk to people, like those at Lifeline and Kids Helpline, given they won’t have to be concerned about the cost of a lengthy call.
“I am very pleased that Vodafone and 3 have moved to have free calls for customers to these services”.
The Gillard Government is investing more than $14m in the current financial year for organisations like Lifeline and Kids Help Line through our telephone counselling, self help and web based support measure.
Important Contact Details
- Lifeline can be contacted on: 13 11 14
- Kids Help Line can be contact on: 1800 551 800
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