Regional SA's Free Counselling Service
A new counselling service for regional and remote South Australians called 'Regional Access' has been launched statewide by Country SA PHN.
Anita spoke to Chez Curnow, one of the people responsible for establishing Regional Access on the Country Viewpoint to find out more.
Regional Access is a free service, available online or over the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to anyone aged over 16, living or working in regional or remote South Australia.
To get in touch with Regional Access anytime, call 1300 032 186 or visit saregionalaccess.org.au.
The service is staffed by professionally trained counsellors who are ready to listen, support and encourage anyone who has a concern, a worry or just want someone to chat with.
Member for Barker Tony Pasin has welcomed the Regional Access service as a further adjunct to mental health services the Government is funding in regional Australia.
“Those of us living outside metropolitan cities in rural and regional South Australia are a proud bunch and so we should be.
"We make a massive contribution to the wealth of this nation, a contribution that often goes unnoticed and unthanked,” said Mr Pasin.
“Our spirit is strong in rural and regional citizens but isolation and lack of services have unfortunately led to a significant disparity in the rates of mental illness in the country.
“This service will provide a welcome boost to local mental health services and demonstrates the Federal Government’s commitment to ensure mental health support is provided to people who need it now,” Mr Pasin said.
Country SA PHN Chief Executive Kim Hosking said the organisation 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 access to counselling when they need it most,” Mr Hosking said.
Regional Access will enable rural South Australians to talk to a professional counsellor who will:
Be available 24/7 to support people in their time of need
Focus on people’s individual situations
Develop strategies to manage the situation
Enable people to have up to three 30 minute sessions with the same counsellor
If needs increase, 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.
You can call Regional Access anytime on 1300 032 186 or visit saregionalaccess.org.au.