The Albanese Labor Government is working with Telstra to boost awareness of national support available to people in need, with information on six major services to be displayed in artwork on Telstra payphones across Australia.
Approximately 15,000 payphones Australia-wide will feature stickers promoting phone numbers and services provided by the helplines, giving people a quick and easy way to connect with support when they need it.
Six national support services have been chosen to be featured, collectively serving the needs of a diverse range of people:
Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, and Assistant Minister for Social Services and for the Prevention of Family Violence, Justine Elliot, today announced the collaboration with Telstra to spread awareness of the free support services available nationwide.
Minister Rowland said that payphones continued to play an important role in bringing Australians together.
“The Albanese Government welcomes this important community initiative between Telstra and these six national organisations working tirelessly to help those in need.
“These critical services provide free support for anyone facing mental health challenges, experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, or in need financial advice and support.
“More than 23 million free calls were made through a Telstra payphone during the last reporting period. If this initiative helps raise awareness of and connects even just a small number of those callers to these services, that’s a positive outcome”.
Assistant Minister Elliot said the initiative will be a lifeline for many people affected by domestic, family, and sexual violence, mental health challenges, or financial difficulty.
“Having the details of these support services will remind those in need that help is only a phone call away,” Assistant Minister Elliot said.
“It’s critical that people affected by domestic, family, and sexual violence be aware that there are services like 1800RESPECT that they can call 24/7 when they need support.”
“We want everyone to know that if you are experiencing personal or financial distress, or are affected by domestic, family, or sexual violence, you can reach out to these services for free and immediate support, advice, or referrals.”
Telstra Health spokesperson and Head of 1800RESPECT Colleen Birchley emphasised the importance of free payphones as an essential component of our social infrastructure.
“Telstra payphones provide valuable support to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community and 1800RESPECT and five other national support services are proud to work alongside Telstra to ensure callers are provided with clear information about the types of support they can access any time of day,” Ms Birchley said.
The rollout of the artworks kicked off in capital cities this week, with the majority of sites to be rolled out by the first half of 2024.
In the past year, Telstra reported a 30 per cent increase compared to the previous year in calls to Lifeline.
If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au
MensLine Australia Services are available if you are concerned about your wellbeing, relationships, and behaviour on 1300 789 978 or by visiting www.mensline.org.au
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