Lifeline has opened its free text support service to increase access to support for people in distress as part of its suicide prevention strategy.
The service will open at 10am today to anyone who wants to talk about what is worrying them.
To use the service, people can text HELP or 4357 and a qualified counselor or well-trained volunteers will respond.
Lifeline says giving people the opportunity to communicate over text will remove barriers for people who find it difficult to pick up the phone and call.
“Texting is a daily form of communication for many people and an accessible way to reach out for help," the service said in a statement.
“We expect the service will be used by a different group of people to those who connect by phone call and potentially reflect younger people's preference to communicate via technology".
Executive Director Glenda Schnell says, “Lifeline has been a call away for people in distress for over than 50 years and we're so pleased to be able to add to this service and respond to the growing need to communicate via technology.”
Currently, Lifeline receives over 10,000 calls a month to its free helpline and an average of six calls a day from people at high risk of suicide.