Ministers say new mental health support line could 'save lives'

Ministers say new mental health support line could 'save lives'

Lives could be saved thanks to a new mental health support hotline, ministers say.

The 24-hour helpline will also give callers information on a range of services and networks across some 1,100 support groups.

Mental health minister, Jim Daly, said the new phoneline is akin to a special booking service while Health Minister Simon Harris said it could “save lives”.

Mr Harris said it will give people with mental health challenges direct access to services as opposed to searching websites and Googling for answers: “This is 24/7, any day of the week, anytime of the day. We know mental health challenges don't just disappear outside of office hours. They don't disappear on weekends. We know what can often compound the difficulties that any one of us can feel in relation to our mental health is that worry that you can't fight out or the inability to know where to go.”

The confidential 24/7 ‘Your Mental Health’ line will be run by the national ambulance service for callers to find out about services available in their area. The dedicated number is 1800 111 888. People manning the phoneline will get special training and already 400 people have been helped during a trial run.

Services such as the Samaritans, bereavement groups and suicide prevention help will be among the support that can be referenced to callers.

Mr Daly said he came up with the idea of the helpline to ensure all mental services could be contacted from one point.

Launching the service, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Above all, we need to encourage people to speak about mental health issues that they may face, to help those who are in difficulty and to share the problems that we may face.”

Call teams operating the special phone support service have all received training in SafeTalk. SafeTalk is a special programme that prepares participants to recognise and engage with people who may be having thoughts of suicide.

Mr Varadkar said said that, while there are more than a thousand different mental services across the country, some services are not very well joined-up: "People find it difficult to find the right service for them at the right time and in the right place and this is a major attempt to alleviate that and make that better. We all know that maintaining mental health and well being is essential and positive mental health enhances our ability to cope with the stresses of everyday life, makes us more engaged, more productive, more content citizens.”

More on this topic

Standard of mental health care should not be toleratedStandard of mental health care should not be tolerated

People with complex needs end up in prison as it is only service with no waiting list, says expertPeople with complex needs end up in prison as it is only service with no waiting list, says expert

20,000 mental health appointments for children and adolescents were unattended in 201820,000 mental health appointments for children and adolescents were unattended in 2018

New nationwide mental health phone line launchedNew nationwide mental health phone line launched


More in this Section

Teen wrapped chain around knuckles for assaultTeen wrapped chain around knuckles for assault

Virgin Media staff vote 'overwhelmingly' for industrial action over job cutsVirgin Media staff vote 'overwhelmingly' for industrial action over job cuts

Public consultation must not delay ban on smoky coal, says Asthma SocietyPublic consultation must not delay ban on smoky coal, says Asthma Society

Here are Ireland's county councils ranked according to transparency, accountability and ethicsHere are Ireland's county councils ranked according to transparency, accountability and ethics


Lifestyle

As David Attenborough announces new series on plants, we run down some of the weird and wonderful vegetation he might include.11 bizarre plant species from around the world

The weather’s always going to be a key factor on any wedding day — but especially so when the bride works for Met Éireann, writes Eve Kelliher.Wedding of the week: Bride and groom are literally on cloud nine

My wife and I are in our fifties and she has just started using porn. She thinks it will enhance our sex life if we watch it together, but I find the idea a total turn-off.Suzi Godson's Sex Advice: My wife wants us to watch porn together?

As you probably have heard by now, changes to the rules concerning gift vouchers in Ireland came into effect earlier this month, giving consumers more rights when it comes to these popular items.Making Cents: Play your cards right when giving gift vouchers this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner