Authors: Ann Evans, ACT
Event: 2015 TheMHS Conference
Subject: 2015 Conference Book of Proceedings, online support service, crisis support online
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Now in its fifth year, Lifeline’s Crisis Support Chat service utilises the same evidence-based Practice Model as the 13 11 14 telephone service, applied to the online environment. In 2013 the service received the TheMHS Award for innovative use of technology. The Crisis Support Chat service provides one-on-one, confidential crisis support to anyone living in Australia. Chats are answered by Crisis Supporters trained in 4 units of competency from the Certificate IV in Telephone Counselling Skills as well as online-specific training and supervision. The service seeks to prevent suicide and provide crisis intervention, as well as enhancing resourcefulness and connecting help-seekers to further care and support. This paper outlines the model used for crisis support online. It will also discuss Lifeline’s learnings from providing the service over the past five years, and how mental health professionals, community workers and others working in the field can utilise the service for clients or families in episodic crisis or at risk of suicide. Particularly appealing to young people and those concerned about confidentiality, this service provides a gateway to care as well as a back-up for longer term treatment.