An Australia-first service that will make crisis support available via text message has the potential to reach where traditional methods have not, the region’s Lifeline chief says.
Lifeline Australia has begun development on the Text4Good service, which was granted $2.5 million in seed funding mid-last year, as Australia’s suicide toll approached a 10-year high.
The service is intended to complement Lifeline’s 24-hour 13 11 14 crisis line and its online chat service.
Grahame Gould, executive director Lifeline South Coast, said text messages could appeal to people – particularly men – who were reluctant to access existing suicide prevention and other services.
“The reason it may reach men is because, you can be on a bus and text a crisis service, and the person next to you wouldn’t even know,” Mr Gould said.
“They don’t have to articulate the things that men sometimes find difficult to deal with in spoken words.”
“We would take a strong interest in being involved [in a trial of the service].”