Regional South Australians now have access to a free, 24-hours a day, seven days a week professional online and telephone counselling service.
Regional Access is available for anyone living or working in regional or remote South Australia aged over 16 who is feeling the pressures and stresses of everyday life.
Commissioned and funded by Country SA PHN, Regional Access is staffed by professionally trained counsellors who are ready to listen, support and encourage. They will provide individual strategies to best manage situations and provide further support. Regional Access is available to anyone who has a concern, a worry or just wants someone to chat with.
Rowan Ramsay, Federal Member for the Grey, which covers most of rural and remote South Australia, welcomed the Regional Access service as a further adjunct to mental health services the Federal Government is funding in regional Australia.
"This service will provide a welcome boost to local mental health services. There are many external pressing issues facing regional Australians, and my constituents in Grey, which have placed added strain on people and their ability to manage stress," he said.
“I am really pleased this service is available and for what it will mean for many people needing support from professional counsellors,” Mr Ramsey said.
Country SA PHN Chief Executive Kim Hosking said the PHN is thrilled to be able to offer this counselling service for rural South Australians.
“It’s traditionally harder for those living in regional or remote settings to access professional counselling. Regional Access bridges this gap and allows everyone equal access to counselling when they need it most," Mr. Hosking said.
"For South Australians from anywhere in the State to have access to professional counsellors at any time will hopefully remove the impediments that put many people off seeking help."
Regional Access will enable rural South Australians to talk to a professional counsellor who will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support people in their time of need, and who will focus on people’s individual situations and develop strategies to manage the situation. The service enables people to have up to three 30 minute sessions with the same counsellor and, if needs increase, can refer people to be seen by a local face-to-face psychologist under a priority referral.
Regional Access is being delivered by On the Line, a social health business with more than 55 years’ experience delivering counselling support services to the community. On the Line is a national provider of services including MensLine Australia, Suicide Call Back Service and SuicideLine Victoria.
"We listen and encourage people to feel better; building resistance, fostering healthy relationships and connecting people with community support," said On the Line, Chief Executive Officer, Ms Kim O’Neill.
"All our counsellors are multi-skilled across telephone, web chat and video counselling modalities and are highly experienced in providing interventions, from crisis support to general counselling and social health support."
Need to talk to someone? If you need immediate assistance, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression, contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or www.beyondblue.org.au or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.