News : National Mental Health Helpline, Two Months On
Wellington, New Zealand, Sept, 2017 -- Two months on from launch, the national mental health and addictions helpline, 1737, need to talk? has provided help and support from trained counsellors to over 3,200 Kiwi’s, with over half opting to make initial contact via text.
"We’ve had thousands of people reaching out for help, many of whom are young, and feel they have nowhere else to turn to. There are many barriers preventing people from getting vital mental health care. Lack of anonymity a concern for people, which is why texting a counsellor feels much more comfortable for many people" said Dr David Codyre, Lead Psychiatrist, National Telehealth Service.
"We all have times in life where we need to reach out for help. Sometimes life has become tough all of a sudden, with the loss of a family member or relationship breakup, redundancy, bullying at school or in the workplace. With support, bad times pass. Having a friend or family member we can talk things through with is vital for our wellbeing at these times, but for many people, they either don’t have someone they can talk to, or fear being judged."
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"We still have this culture in New Zealand that we have to be tough, that to admit we are struggling is a sign of weakness. The newly released suicide figures are deeply saddening, far too many people unfortunately still don’t ask for help when they desperately need it, and it literally kills them. The more people know there is help out there, via text or phone, the more we can change this."
"The Media play an essential role ensuring people know how to reach out, with the helpline listings at the bottom of stories about mental health. It is essential for more people to know that help is out there. Our counsellors are caring people who just want to help."
The new national mental health and addictions helpline, 1737, was established to help eliminate confusion around 0800 helplines, offering a number as simple to remember as 111.
A first of its kind 4-digit text and call helpline available free 24/7 and staffed by trained counsellors.
1737 has received over 3200 contacts since launch. 55 per cent via text and 45 per cent via phone call.
16 per cent of contacts were from young people age 13 – 19 years old.
17 per cent of contacts were from young people age 20 – 24 years old.
New Zealand’s National Telehealth Service operate the newly launched National Mental Health & Addictions Helpline; 1737, need to talk? as well as; Healthline, Quitline, Poisons, Depression, Gambling, Alcohol and Drug and Immunisation Helplines.
Over 2000 people get in touch each day by calling, webchat, email and via text message with plans underway to introduce more ways for people to connect digitally with services.
Over 220 frontline staff work on the National Telehealth Services, from five contact centres and 91 registered nurses work from their homes across New Zealand.
All services are available 24/7, with interpreter services available in over 40 languages.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2017
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