EVERY resident of NSW will have direct telephone access to expert mental health advice for the first time following the launch of a 24 hour telephone support service.
Minister for Mental Health, Kevin Humphries said the NSW Government has established the 1800 011 511 Mental Health Line to ensure that people with a mental health problem, their families and carers can access the care they need whenever and wherever they need it.
"The Mental Health Line is a groundbreaking service that will, for the very first time, provide people with easy access to expert mental health advice through a single telephone number," Mr Humphries said.
"No matter where people live in NSW they will no longer have to search through complicated directories to get help for a mental health problem.
"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.
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 said the Mental Health Line will also be used to provide advice about clinical symptoms, the urgency of the need for care and local treatment options for service providers, such as general practitioners, police and ambulance officers.
"Furthermore, any caller who has difficulty navigating the system will be automatically transferred and will receive assistance from a Registered Nurse.
"However, it's important to remember the Mental Health Line is not an emergency service. People in a life-threatening situation must still call 000 to receive immediate help."