Every resident of the Penrith region will have direct telephone access to expert mental health advice for the first time following the launch of a 24 hour telephone support service, Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres said today.
Mr Ayres welcomed the NSW Government’s new 1800 011 511 Mental Health Line, which will ensure that people with a mental health problem, their families and carers can access the care they need whenever and wherever they need it.
“The Mental Health Line is a groundbreaking service that will, for the very first time, provide people with easy access to expert mental health advice through a single telephone number,” he said.
“This service really does mark a new era of care in NSW; having access to this line means that there will be somebody available 24/7 to help.
“By dialling just one number people can speak to a mental health professional and be directed to the most appropriate care in their local area.
“The Mental Health Line will operate round the clock and will provide a telephone triage assessment and referral service staffed by mental health clinicians – it is important to note though, that 000 is still the best port of call for all emergencies.”
Mr Ayres was joined by Sandra Pedler, Chief Executive Officer of Substance.org, the re-branded Western Sydney Drug and Alcohol Resource Centre Inc in welcoming the announcement.
“All too often there are serious mental health issues behind an addiction to a particular substance” she said.
“At Substance.org we seek to educate the community and partner with not-for-profit organisations across the region to help support people who are experiencing problems with drug and alcohol usage.
“It is really important in dealing with these people that we not stigmatise them. These are people going through an incredibly rough period in their lives and we need to do what we can to get them back on track.”