The Kids Helpline counselling centre in Western Sydney is on track to respond to an extra 18,000 contacts during it’s first year of operation, thanks to a $5.5 million investment from the NSW Government.
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the Blacktown hub, which employs 30 professional counsellors dedicated to taking calls from children and young adults in NSW, has already responded to 14,528 contacts since its opening in April last year.
“It’s been a really tough year, especially for children and young people, which is why we’re making sure that no matter where they live, support services are ready and available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Mrs Taylor said.
“We’re building a safer, stronger NSW and having a bricks and mortar presence in Western Sydney means that Kids Helpline now has a physical hub for creating better local connections with communities and services all across the state.”
Between March and September 2020, Kids Helpline answered 35,403 calls and online chats from children and young people living in NSW, a increase of 33% on the same period last year.
Mrs Taylor said the increased capacity is also helping ensure children and young people can connect with the same counsellor over a period of time.
“Being able to speak to the same person on the end of the line week in, week out is so important for building that trusted relationship and making that help-seeking behaviour we want to encourage feel really normal,” Mrs Taylor said.
yourtown CEO Tracy Adams said she looks forward to another year of supporting children and young people.
“Kids Helpline is not only celebrating its first year of operation here, we are also celebrating a milestone of 30 years of dedicated service to children and young people,” Ms Adams said.