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24 hour mental health line launched in NSW

28 May 2012 - 5:02pm
Written by: 
Suzanne Still

The NSW government has announced a new initiative to help residents gain access to mental health advice.

Minister for mental health Kevin Humphries launched the 24 hour telephone service last week, stating that it would provide essential information to patients, families and carers.

"This service heralds a new era of mental health care in NSW; it is a simple and effective way in which people who are worried about mental health issues can receive expert assistance," he said on May 23.

"The Mental Health Line will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will provide a telephone triage assessment and referral service staffed by mental health clinicians."

Mr Humphries explained that the resource would also be used to provide advice about clinical symptoms, the level of urgency for care and local treatment options for service providers, such as general practitioners, police and ambulance officers.

According to data from the federal government's Private Health Insurance Ombudsman, one in five Australians will experience some form of mental illness in their lives.

Some private health insurance policies may help to cover the costs of psychological services outside of Medicare's current system.