The NSW Government has pledged funding for Lifeline, a national charity that offers crisis support and suicide prevention services.
The A$8.2m ($5.44m) investment over five years will facilitate the expansion of Lifeline’s telephone, text, and online support services for NSW residents.
It ensures enhanced support 24/7, allowing people in mental health crises to access help whenever they need it.
The infusion will specifically contribute to the expansion of text and webchat services, catering to harder-to-reach and at-risk groups such as young people, individuals with disabilities, and those experiencing domestic and family violence.
Lifeline Australia CEO Colin Seery said: “This funding injection will ensure that Lifeline can deliver more support to people in distress through our text and webchat services, which are used more by harder-to-reach and at-risk groups such as young people, people with disabilities and people experiencing domestic and family violence.
“Demand for our digital services is increasing at a significant rate and this funding will help to ensure people can access the support they need, wherever they are, day or night.”
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The funding will help meet the increasing demand for support and ensure that people have access to “confidential, non-judgmental care” during crises.
NSW Mental Health Minister Rose Jackson stated: “When people are in crisis it can be difficult to seek help. The expansion of Lifeline’s text and web chat service in NSW will help to ensure people have a range of options when they need it most.
“We know this is particularly important for young people as sometimes making a phone call can be a barrier. We’re using technology they’re familiar with to create easier entry points and better accessibility for vulnerable people.”