MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE LINE TO CLOSE TONIGHT

Posted on 19. Mar, 2012 in News

The Baillieu Government’s decision to shut down Victoria’s only dedicated 24-hour mental health advice line will place further strain on already stretched services, the Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Shadow Minister for Health, Wade Noonan, said today.

The Mental Health Advice Line will close at midnight tonight (Monday, 19 March, 2012).   “This is a major blow for vulnerable people across Victoria,” Mr Noonan said.

“The Advice Line has been described as a ‘front door’ to Victoria’s mental health services, operating in a similar way to the ‘Nurse-on-call’ service, with trained mental health professionals available 24-hours a day, 7-days per week.”

“The Baillieu Government has closed this service without consultation or warning.”

The advice line was established by the previous Labor Government in 2009 to provide expert advice, information and referrals on mental health issues and help individuals and families navigate their way through the broad spectrum of mental health services.

“If the service helps a person through their darkest hour of despair and gets them the treatment they need then surely that’s what counts,” Mr Noonan said.

“People struggling with a mental health issue have enough barriers to accessing care without losing an important service.

“Closing the state-wide mental health advice line will simply compound existing stresses on front-line mental health services.

“The Baillieu Government should be honest and admit that the closure of this service is just another cost cutting measure.”

 

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