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Aus state launches 1st multicultural mental health hotline

Sydney, Jan 5 (IANS) The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) on Thursday announced that the country’s first multicultural mental health phone line has been launched in the state, which will provide services in 30 different languages and benefit multiple communities.

According to the state government, the service is staffed by registered bilingual mental health professionals, covering languages such as Arabic, Chinese and Greek, reports Xinhua news agency.

Available from Monday to Friday, the Transcultural Mental Health Line is expected to improve access to mental health care and support for diverse communities.

“While there is a wide range of mental health services available to all NSW residents, language and different cultural understandings of mental health can act as a barrier for people when accessing services,” said NSW Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor.

“This new phone line will support people to get the help they need, with a specialist team of health care professionals ready to provide care and connect people with the appropriate services,” she added.

A national study of mental health and wellbeing, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in July last year, indicated that over two in five citiznes aged 16-85 years, or 8.6 million people, had experienced a mental disorder at some time in their life.

One in five, or 4.2 million people, had a 12-month mental disorder, while anxiety was the most prevalent disorder, according to the study.

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