COAG Mental Health - Funding for Telephone Counselling, Self Help and Web-based Support Programmes

Budget funding of $56.9 million will boost the capacity of Australia’s telephone and web-based counselling services in providing round-the-clock advice and support for people in emotional or mental health crises.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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Why is this important?

  • Due to heavy demand, an estimated four out of five calls to telephone counselling service centres are currently going unanswered.
  • As access to anonymous information, counselling and online self-help programmes play an important role in suicide prevention, crisis advice and referral, this initiative will provide increased funding to non-government organisations for telephone and web based services, and expanded and enhanced on-line interactive tools.

Who will benefit?

  • Up to 260,000 individuals with common mental disorders who do not currently receive treatment will benefit from this initiative.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • This measure forms part of the Government’s contribution to the COAG Mental Health package, as announced on 5 April 2006.
  • $56.9 million has been allocated to this measure over five years.

What have we done in the past?

  • Lifeline Australia and Kids Help Line have been funded by the Commonwealth to provide mental health information and 24-hour counselling via the telephone and the internet.
  • Lifeline Australia is the peak body for the 42 Lifeline Centres around Australia, which provide services from 59 locations, half of which are in rural and remote areas. Lifeline Centres provide a 24-hour telephone counselling service in addition to providing information, referral and associated services in local areas.
  • Kids Help Line provides a free 24-hour national telephone and online counselling service for children and young people aged five to 18 years of age in Australia, and seeks to assist young people develop strategies and skills that enable them to more effectively manage their own lives.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • Funding will be provided over five years to June 2011.

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