Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly TD, today (Thursday 28 November) jointly launched a new dedicated information phone line for mental health, Freephone 1800 111 888.
The Your Mental Health information line is a confidential, 24/7 Freephone service that provides signposting to mental health supports and offers information on how to access services provided by the HSE and funded partners across the country.
Speaking today An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:
This new dedicated phone line will provide help to those suffering from mental ill health – and their families – to access information when they need it most. If you or someone close to you is feeling low, depressed or even suicidal, it can seem like you have nowhere to turn. This new service will connect callers with a trained team member who will provide information about the services available nationally and in their area.
The Government has increased the budget for mental health significantly in recent years; we’ll spend just over €1 billion on mental health services next year. But we know many people still face huge challenges in accessing the care they require. I am pleased that the HSE and the National Ambulance Service are working together on this new information line, which we all hope will help people access mental health services when they need them.
Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD said:
Today is an incredibly important day. This is a dedicated mental health information phone line for people who need advice, guidance and assistance at a very difficult time for them. The service information line represents an expansion to our Mental Health services, one of many significant developments and improvements that have occurred within mental health services over the past decade, since the publication of the national mental health policy, A Vision for Change in 2006.
This mental health information line will join an ever-growing suite of mental health services and I commend and thank all parties involved for bringing it to fruition. We will also roll out online counselling initiatives and a national crisis textline in the coming months.
Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly TD announced details of the new Information Line today,
On being appointed Mental Health Minister over two years ago, I instantly recognised that we had many excellent service providers throughout the country, however it also became apparent pretty quickly that the vast majority of people did not know what the different services providers offered, what was available in their area, or how to get in touch with them. I decided we needed to have universal access to the more than 1000 HSE funded mental health services available to people across the country.
Today is the culmination of significant work over the past two years resulting in a team now being in place to take calls from the public on a 24/7 basis, all under one centralised telephone number. This dedicated service will connect callers with a team member who will provide information about the supports and services available both nationally and in their area. The Your Mental Health telephone service is another great example of how we can continue to improve and simplify accessibility to mental health supports and services through technology.
HSE Mental Health and the National Ambulance Service will work in partnership to facilitate the Your Mental Health Information Line service.
The Your Mental Health Information Line is part of the overall Digital Mental Health supports project which aim to improve accessibility to mental health supports through technology. This project includes the redevelopment of yourmentalhealth.ie, the development of the Crisis Text Line service and the piloting of counselling online, Internet based CBT and tele-psychiatry.
For more information visit YourMentalHealth.ie