Young man on phone talking about mental health

How does free counselling over the phone work?

Let’s face it, MensLine Australia wouldn’t exist if mental health was easy.

Why? Because mental health is challenging. Or rather, experiencing and managing the emotional and mental stress that affects how you feel and think is challenging.

If good mental health was easy, there would be no alcoholism or addictions, no depression or anxiety, and no suicide or self-harm.

Yet these things do happen in our society.

It’s no surprise that almost half of Australians will experience a mental health condition during their lifetime while three million of us [1] each year live with depression or anxiety.

Thankfully, we live in a modern age where we know how to effectively deal and manage with worries or stresses if they start to affect daily life.

 

Managing your mental health

When we think of managing our worries and difficulties, you might imagine sitting in a counsellor’s or psychologist’s office, or even lying on a therapist’s couch. However, it might surprise you to know that a lot of counselling doesn’t happen in a face-to-face setting.

This is true for many people in Australia, where massive distances can be a hindrance to accessing services. However, geographic isolation doesn’t have to be the only reason why many people choose a free phone counselling service like MensLine Australia.

There are those who don’t have the time to get to a counsellor. Others might not have the means, be it the funds or a reliable form of travel. Others might not feel comfortable — for any number of reasons — with seeing a counsellor in person. Then there are those who believe their problems aren’t serious or important enough to warrant “seeing someone”.

That’s where phone and online support helps. It’s an effective and easy way to get help and advice for tackling worries and concerns.

 

Easy (and free) access to practical mental health

MensLine Australia provides free counselling. Accessing it doesn’t cost you anything (other than the cost of a phone call) and you don’t need a healthcare card. You don’t even need a referral.

You can call MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78 if you are worried, stressed or just not feeling right. You will be put through to a professional counsellor who will help and talk you through your situation.

It’s an easy and great way to access professional support for stresses and concerns.

 

What can I call about?

You can call to talk about a range of issues.

Some people call to talk about their relationship with their partners, kids and family. Many also call about being a dad and fathering.

Calls about stress, work, suicidal thoughts, isolation and loneliness are common topics.

Others might be grieving or dealing with intense feelings following a loss. Many also call about concerns relating to anxiety or depression, or worries about drugs or alcohol.

You can call MensLine Australia at any time because the line is open 24/7. If you prefer, MensLine Australia also offers free online counselling via web chat.

A good way to think about it is to imagine you’re calling an over-the-phone nurse or getting phone-based professional health advice. MensLine Australia allows you to pretty much do the same thing, except that you’re getting professional ‘head stuff’ advice on how to look after yourself.

 

Who answers the phone line or web chat?

MensLine Australia is not staffed by volunteers, unlike some free mental health services. All staff are paid and experienced counsellors. To join MensLine Australia, a counsellor needs to have a minimum of 456 hours of face-to-face counselling experience. They also need to have a degree (of minimum three years) in psychology, social work, counselling and social science or welfare studies.

You can rest assured that the person who takes your call or answers your web chat is a qualified mental healthcare professional.

 

MensLine Australia is here to help you

MensLine Australia’s professional counsellors are ready to help you. You can call or chat online from home, from the privacy of your bedroom or lounge, where it’s nobody’s business but yours.

Importantly, don’t put it off. Many people know they are struggling or are aware how their negative or destructive thoughts affect daily life. Putting it off probably won’t make it go away. In fact, letting it simmer may make the situation worse.

Don’t be that guy.

If something is bothering you, do something sensible about it now, before it becomes something bigger. Pick up the phone or log in and talk it over.

You’ll feel much better afterwards.

 

If you need someone to talk to, you can call our MensLine Australia counsellors on 1300 78 99 78, or register for online chat.

 

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007. Cat. no. (4326.0). Canberra: ABS.

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