A new free phone and online counselling service is now available to help people in the north, central or western suburbs of Melbourne who are feeling the pressures and stresses of everyday life, just in time for the peak holiday period.

“The holiday season is a joyous time when we get to relax with family and friends, but for many people it is also a time of heightened anxiety, grief and pain,” said North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network CEO Adj/Associate Professor Christopher Carter, whose organisation is funding the services.

The CAREinMIND™ Wellbeing Support Service provides an initial intake and assessment session, and where appropriate up to three counselling and support services with a final follow up session to help clients stay on track.

Professionally trained counsellors are available 24/7 to listen, support and encourage people to connect with others and improve their wellbeing, through online chat, telephone and video counselling services.

Services are available at careinmind.com.au or by calling 1300 096 269. They are delivered by experienced providers On The Line, who also operate other phone counselling services such as MensLine and SuicideLine Victoria. People needing more intensive support can call also call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

The Wellbeing Support Service is one of a number of free services funded by NWMPHN for their community within their CAREinMIND™ model of mental health care.

A/Prof Carter said he hoped the new services would break down some of the barriers that can stop people reaching out.

“Providing these free services online and over the phone means people can get the help they need at a time and place where they feel comfortable, without having to worry about the cost.”

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