Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed the official launching this week of a new dedicated information phone line for mental health, Freephone 1800 111 888.
The Your Mental Health information line, which commenced operating on a phased basis in October, provides signposting to mental health supports and services. Operating 24/7, the Freephone service provides information on how to access services provided by the HSE and funded partners across the country. Calls are strictly confidential; call takers do not ask callers for any personal information.
Cllr. O’Shea commented: “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.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “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: “This is a dedicated mental health information phone line for people who need information and assistance at what might be 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 text line in the coming months.”
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.