02 June 2020
The NSW Police Force has joined with Lifeline Australia in a significant awareness campaign which will see twelve highway patrol vehicles branded with highly-visible stickers to promote Lifeline’s ‘13 HELP’ (13 43 57) – a dedicated Lifeline phone number for people as they combat the impacts of the global pandemic and bushfires.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said citizens have been thrown many curveballs in the last 12 months, from drought to bushfires, floods and now a global pandemic. It is important that they know help is just a phone call away.

“After battling through severe drought, a ‘Black Summer’ of bushfires, February floods and the spread of COVID-19, no one should feel ashamed or embarrassed to reach out for help. We all need someone to talk to sometimes” Mr Elliott said.

“I commend the NSW Police Force for signing up to promote an important awareness campaign. I’m certain the high visibility patrol vehicles will deliver the message so many people seek during these difficult times.”

“So pick up the phone and express your distress, anger, frustration, anxiety or sadness, and you’ll be surprised to know there are many more feeling the same.”

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the challenges facing the bush community across the state were complex and enduring.

“As someone who lives in regional NSW, I know individuals and families are facing pressures beyond imagination every day”.

“Every single life lost is a tragedy, so making sure people know the number they can reach out to in a crisis can make a huge difference to their wellbeing”, Mrs Taylor said.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, says police have seen first-hand the impact these recent hard times have had on the community of NSW.

“As first responders, police know more than most about the devastating effects these bushfires have had on local communities,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

Lifeline Chairman, Mr John Brogden, confirmed that since its February launch, the dedicated ‘13 HELP’ (13 43 57) phoneline has received over 28,000 calls from bushfire affected communities and people affected by bushfires events who have sought assistance.

“We want this campaign to act as a preventative trigger when people may be struggling – and we want people to know that there is help at hand at that critical point,” Mr Brogden said.

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Current as at: Monday 10 August 2020