Sheila McHale

Sheila McHale

Minister for Disability Services; Tourism; Culture and the Arts; Consumer Protection

    Crisis help just a phone call away at Christmas

    23/12/2005 12:00 AM

    The festive season means joy for most, but some people can find it more difficult to cope with than others.

    Community Development Minister Sheila McHale has reminded people that help is just a telephone call away.

    “Loneliness, family conflict, financial problems and domestic violence often emerge during the festive season,” Ms McHale said.

    “Problems which have been simmering for most of the year can rear their head and cause great anxiety to families.

    “Domestic violence can also become a greater threat, with stress causing some families and women to face more violent situations.”

    Ms McHale said the Department for Community Development’s Crisis Care line, the Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline and the Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline had trained staff ready to offer a sympathetic ear.

    “The help lines are operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week - even on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve,” she said.

    "Staff are on hand to listen to problems, provide strategies on how to cope and even help callers to get access to services such as emergency accommodation.”

    The Minister said the festive season was a particularly busy time for the help lines, with calls between Christmas and New Year’s Eve last year 83 per cent higher than at other times of the year.

    Crisis Care can be contacted on (08) 9223 1111 or freecall 1800 199 008 for country callers, the Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 007 339 and the Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline can be reached on 1800 000 599.

    Minister's Office - 9213 6900