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New support line is getting Kiwis talking

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health

4 August 2017

New support line is getting Kiwis talking

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the free 24/7 four digit phone and text number 1737 is helping to get Kiwis talking.

“Need to talk? 1737 is free to call or text from any landline or mobile phone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," says Dr Coleman.

“The innovative four digit number is a gateway for people to connect the existing National Telehealth Services provided through the Alcohol and Drug, Depression, and Gambling Helplines. These helplines will still be accessible through the same phone numbers, but 1737 creates a new front door.

“Since the launch of 1737 on June 29 2017 it’s drawn 1,716 contacts, from 1,004 people – that’s over 30 people contacting the service each day.

"The trained counsellors who manage 1737 say to date the top three reasons for people to connect with the service is feeling lonely, wanting to talk or wanting to work through relationship problems.

"Talking through these sorts of issues early can help people cope with feelings of depression, anxiety or trauma.

"We're also seeing that many people are choosing to text rather than call for their initial contact with 1737 – with 1,003 initial contacts via text and 713 calls. It's good that people have the options to make contact in the ways which work best for them."

This new service is being supported by the extra $888 million invested into Vote Health this year, taking the total to $16.8 billion.

Budget 2017 committed an extra $224 million over four years into mental health, including $124 million in new innovative approaches.

Cabinet is considering a range of new mental health initiatives, with the details expected to be released shortly.

ends

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