Werribee Mercy manages mental health services across Melbourne’s South West, operating a 24-hour mental health triage line – 1 300 657 259 – for people in acute mental distress and for referrals to support services. The line receives upwards of 25,000 calls each year, linking to police, community workers, and health professionals across the South Western region. It’s a big job on any day, but the service is now struggling to cope with unprecedented, fast-escalating demand. The phone system it relies on is more than 15 years old, has no hold function to enable speaking to a mental health clinician and at peak times overflow calls are directed to a single answering machine.
Werribee Mercy’s crisis line is already stretched beyond capacity – when we know the worst is yet to come. We need to be able to guarantee that every call gets answered and urgent callers get the immediate response they need. We need advanced functionality to manage and allocate calls efficiently across the hospital and regional service network, and to enable virtual ‘face-to-face’ assessments with our expert team.
In any crisis, the most vulnerable people are the hardest hit. We are asking you as a member of this community to support an important local service as it responds to the urgent mental health needs of people in your area.