Australia’s first multicultural Mental Health Line with seven Indian languages launched

The Indian languages include Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati and Urdu. They also include Nepali, Dari, Tibetan, Pashto and Sinhalese.

People from diverse communities in NSW needing mental health support are set to benefit from an Australian-first multicultural mental health phone line service covering up to 30 different languages.

The languages include Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati and Urdu. They also include Nepali, Dari, Tibetan, Pashto and Sinhalese.

The service is staffed by registered bilingual mental health professionals and covers languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Korean, Vietnamese and Ukrainian. 

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Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said this new phone line would support people from diverse communities who are struggling with their mental health to access appropriate services.

“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,” Mrs Taylor said.

“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.”

Available Monday to Friday between 9:00am to 4:30pm on 1800 648 911, the Transcultural Mental Health Line improves access to mental health care and support for diverse communities.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said this initiative once again shows the NSW Government’s commitment to supporting the state’s rich multicultural society.

“We understand that finding the right words to express how we are feeling can be hard, let alone for people that might struggle with English,” Mr Coure said.

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“This new service makes mental health support more accessible, and will give people the peace of mind to speak freely in a language they are more comfortable with,” Mr Coure said.

The Transcultural Mental Health Line joins a host of services, programs and initiatives the NSW Government is funding to support the mental health of people from diverse communities. This includes the funding of STARTTS, which offers a 24/7 counselling service for people that have experienced trauma related to war and violence overseas.

If you, or someone you know, is in a life-threatening situation please seek help immediately by calling 000.  If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please call Lifeline 13 11 14  or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. The NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 is a 24/7 service that can advise you on appropriate local mental health services for you or a loved one.

For multilingual mental health resources, visit the Transcultural Mental Health Centre website via www.dhi.health.nsw.gov.au/tmhc.

The $3.2 million investment over four years is part of the $130 million COVID-19 Mental Health Recovery package and builds on the $2.68 billion 2022-23 NSW Mental Health Budget, the largest mental health investment in the state’s history.