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Lifeline Launches 24/7 Crisis Text Service To Support Aussies In Need

Lifeline has today launched a 24/7 crisis text service to expand its support for Australians struggling with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, supported with $1.5 million in Australian Government funding.

The Lifeline Crisis Support Text Service is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via confidential text message to 0477 13 11 14. 

Australians are connected to a trained Lifeline crisis supporter following a few questions via text.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said Lifeline’s 24/7 text service is an “important expansion of the vital service the charity provides in crisis support and suicide prevention,”

“The significant surge in demand for Lifeline’s services during COVID means more people are reaching out for help, and services like Lifeline are there to help,” Minister Hunt said.

Lifeline CEO, Colin Seery, said that rather than diverting phone calls from the 13 11 14 service, the always-on digital platform has increased the range and the total number of people contacting the organisation.

“The service is unique in that it allows for genuine privacy during contact, so it is well suited to support cohorts at heightened vulnerability such as help seekers experiencing domestic and family violence or those living with a disability.” Mr Seery said. 

In a 2019 evaluation of the original text message service by the Australian Health Services Research Institute, 42 per cent of contacts said they would not have used another service if the text or chat were not available.

Of 1000 help seekers who were asked to provide demographic information, the median age of people using the service is 24 years old, while 80% of help seekers identified as female.