Mental health hotline calls for those in need
SINCE it's inception in April this year, more than 50 Northern Rivers community members have made use of the NSW Mental Health Flood Support Line.
On April 10 the service was established to help those affected by floods by North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) and the Northern NSW Local Health District.
Now eights weeks since floods and storms devastated the region, the MNFSL is continuing to take calls from people experiencing mental health difficulties as a result of their experience of the floods and the aftermath.
Callers to 1300 137 934 are referred to a local mental health professional for either in person or telephone-based free support and counselling.
Most callers have been referred to receive free mental health support from community based Healthy Minds (auspiced by North Coast Primary Health Network and funded by the Commonwealth Government) mental health workers and from NewAccess (funded by funded by beyondblue) coaches, while the remaining callers were provided with advice or resource support.
The hotline is open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and links people to the right care for their needs.
NCPHN chief executive, Vahid Saberi said the effects of the disaster would be felt for months to come.
"The Mental Health Flood Support Line will continue to operate for as long as there is a need,” he said.
"We want to be sure that the appropriate free mental health services are available to respond quickly to the needs of the community.”
Wayne Jones, NNSW LHD Chief Executive said people should not hesitate to seek out help if they need it.
"The Support Line links people up with support immediately and anyone experiencing mental health difficulties should call the number and get the help they need,” he said.
Need Help? Pick up the phone.
The Mental Health Flood Support Line can be accessed via 1300 137 934 from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
Outside of these times, people should call:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Mental Health Access Line: 1800 011 511
beyondblue Support Service: 1300 224 636
Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800