Lifeline South Coast officially opened a new call centre for its dedicated Bushfire Recovery Line on Friday, July 31.
The Australia-wide 13 HELP (13 43 57) phone line was developed in response to increased demand for Lifeline's service following the devastating impacts of the Black Summer bushfires.
"Lifeline has seen a significant 25 per cent increase in calls to its 13 11 14 service as a result of the bushfires and COVID-19," Lifeline South Coast CEO Renee Green said.
"13 HELP was launched to provide a tailored response specific to the needs of people impacted by bushfires.
"While have been supporting this phone line from our Wollongong Centre since early in the year, the opening of the Nowra centre allows us to increase our capacity to provide that support."
The recent devastation caused by bushfires have left many people vulnerable to negative mental health outcomes. This is compounded by the impacts of COVID-19.
"We want to let everyone know that they are not alone. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please seek help," Ms Green said.
"Our Crisis Supporters are highly skilled at listening and offering support to people who are struggling.
"Our message to anyone affected by the fires is that it is important to talk about your experience. Lifeline is here for you 24 hours a day, ready to listen."
The new call centre will operate out of the innovative MIND the GaP (Mental Illness in Nowra District: Goals and Prevention) facility at University of Wollongong's Shoalhaven Campus in West Nowra.
To contact the 13 HELP Bushfire Recovery Line, please call 13 43 57.