Australian media representatives play an important role in the provision of help-seeking information in reports and communications related to mental ill-health and suicide. Mindframe is encouraging media to expand support for the health of Australians by including the National Alcohol and Other Drugs Hotline (the Hotline) on communications related to alcohol and other drugs (AOD).
The Hotline is an initiative of the Australian Department of Health linking the community to free services in each state and territory. These services provide support, counselling and referrals for individuals, family and friends, health professionals, businesses and community groups with general or specific questions about AOD, support, counselling and referrals to treatment options.
What occurs when someone phones the Hotline?
What will happen is dependent on which state or territory the caller is from. In most states, callers are directed to the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) (ADIS NSW, TAS, NT, QLD, SA or ACT).
Callers can obtain information for a range of AOD related topics through a pre-recorded message system, or choose to speak with a counsellor or other trained professional who can provide information, support and referrals for people who are concerned about their own, or others AOD use.
Each of these services are available 24/7 however in South Australia, speaking with a trained professional is available within the hours of 8:30am and 10:00pm.
Callers in Victoria are directed through to DirectLine, a 24/7 confidential AOD counselling, information and referral service operated by Turning Point - a Victorian Centre for Excellence in alcohol and drug treatment, research and education. DirectLine provide services both on the phone and online at www.directline.org.au
In Western Australia callers are directed straight to a professional counsellor at their Alcohol and Drug Support Line.
This Hotline allows a simplified option for media to link the public with services that are accessible and relevant for people in every state and territory in Australia.
For more information on communicating about alcohol and other drugs please visit: https://bit.ly/2xKaKNP
Media outlets and organisations interested in receiving further training on how to communicate safely about AOD are welcome to contact the Mindframe project team, via: [email protected]