Access to Lifeline help made easier
It isn’t news some people in today’s society are becoming increasingly isolated. The support networks we relied on in times gone by – neighbours over the back fence, relatives around the corner and other friendly locals – can be rare in today’s highly mobile society. So when someone needs help, who are they going to call?
By making calls to Lifeline’s 13 11 14 helpline free of charge from Telstra mobiles (for both Pre-Paid and Post-Paid mobile customers) in Australia and our network of around 19,000 payphones, our hope is that those who find themselves in need of Lifeline can now speak to a friendly voice without worrying about cost.
It’s part of our commitment to what we call digital inclusion, which means removing potential barriers to help people access the communications services they need. Like our Telstra Connected Seniors program which helps older Australians make the most of new technologies to keep in touch with family and friends, or our Access for Everyone programs which help keep disadvantaged people in our communities connected.
Along with the Government and telecommunications industry we’ve been looking at how to improve access to mental health services through Lifeline’s 13 11 14 helpline. Nearly one third of calls to Lifeline come from mobile phones, so the industry agreed to remove tolls to the helpline from mobiles, making them untimed so people calling could spend as long as they needed on the call.
But we decided we could do even more. We have made calls to Lifeline free of charge for all Telstra mobile customers in Australia, for anyone calling from a Telstra payphone in Australia, and for our Access for Everyone In Contact customers.
As a good corporate citizen, this is another way Telstra can contribute to the vitality and long-term health and wellbeing of the community. If you’d like to find out more about corporate citizenship at Telstra, please click here or visit Telstra.com.au/cr
- All Telstra mobile customers can now call Lifeline 13 11 14 for free in Australia. This includes Pre-Paid and Post-Paid customers, as well as Pre-Paid customers who are out of credit.
- Anyone can call Lifeline 13 11 14 for free from a Telstra payphone (sometimes coins / card will need to be inserted to initiate the call, but these will be refunded at the end of the call)
- Telstra’s recently launched Freedom® Connect mobile plans include calls to 1800 and 13 numbers as part of the monthly included allowance.
- Calls from fixed home phones to 13 advice and assistance lines, including Lifeline, are charged at the local rate price. These calls are untimed so people can spend as long as they need on the call.
- Calls to 1800 advice and assistance lines are Telstra free call numbers for customers on the Telstra fixed network. In most cases this call is free from a fixed line.
We want all Australians to be able to get help from us when they need it the most. That’s why we are so pleased Telstra is improving access with free calls to 13 11 14 from Telstra mobiles, and all Telstra payphones. This will help us to help Australians in their time of crisis.”
Chris Wagner, Lifeline – Lifeline.org.au
Lifeline’s helpline assists anyone who needs it, anytime of the day or night to deal with crisis situations like suicide. The line is answered by a person 24 hours a day, every day of the year, so there’s always some-one there to help.