A new national online counselling service is set to help people affected by substance misuse to get the support they need.
The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, said as part of the Australian Government’s $298.3 million National Ice Action Strategy, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre will provide an enhanced national online counselling service to support people affected by substance misuse.
“This new national service complements the Australian Government’s additional drug and alcohol treatment funding to Primary Health Networks ensuring a range of treatment options are available for people affected by ice or other methamphetamines and their families – no matter where they may be around the country – who want to take that vital first step and reach out to seek help,” Minister Ley said.
“The 2015 National Ice Taskforce Final Report recommended improving access to online interventions, including ice-specific counselling and self-help options, as a priority in delivering treatment and support for users and families.
“There’s also evidence that online interventions are successful in engaging people affected by drug and alcohol misuse including ice, who are less likely to seek help through more conventional face-to-face treatment services.
“More than 60% of those who previously contacted Turning Point’s 24 hour counselling service were making contact for the first time, so the expansion of this service is an important resource in the fight against the scourge of ice.”
Turning Point’s expanded services now include:
- a moderated peer forum that provides online communities with support and information for drug and alcohol-related issues, as well as opportunities to discuss strategies for recovery;
- self-help modules with tailored guidance for individual needs; and
- new tools, such as an SMS subscriber service, which sends supportive messages at critical time periods throughout the week to reduce the risk of relapse.
Minister Ley said the new free service is now available and will provide the community with 24/7 support.
The Counselling Online website is accessible at www.counsellingonline.org.au on a range of mobile devices including smart phones and tablets.