On Sunday 1st October, On the Line (OTLA) merged with Lifeline Australia to become the country’s leading crisis support service.

Even though the transfer has been completed, OTLA’s and Lifeline Australia’s service lines will continue to operate as before.

Over the course of the past 18 months, and with the help of independent lived experience and clinical experts, Lifeline and OTLA determined that there would be considerable benefits of integrating OTLA’s clinical service with Lifeline’s crisis service to provide wrap-around care for anyone reaching out for support.

Lifeline Australia CEO Colin Seery said that the organisation considers this a significant and exciting opportunity to take a more integrated approach to crisis support, mental health, and suicide prevention to ultimately improve support through a variety of channels.

“There is increasing interest from governments and the sector to improve both service quality and accessibility for help seekers by exploring the consolidation of helplines and the possibility of providing warm referrals,” said Mr. Seery.

“Help seekers are at the heart of what we do and joining forces empowers us to build a more efficient and personalised response. It will also provide us with the foundation to help address the very real service gap for hundreds of thousands of people who cannot get access to care due to distance, workforce shortages, and financial pressures.”

“Lifeline Australia is committed to continuing to look at ways in which we might be able to provide capability and infrastructure foundations for smaller services that are targeted towards specific, vulnerable populations.”

On the Line CEO Angus Clelland said the amalgamation was about considering the benefits of tailoring support to help seekers’ needs while taking a ‘no wrong door’ approach.

“On the Line’s clinical services are a natural complement to Lifeline’s national crisis service and will create an exciting opportunity to address the ‘missing middle’ in mental health care across Australia,” he said.

Established in 1963, Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, with forty-one centres around the nation. The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 130 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

If you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable.

You can phone Lifeline to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14, text 0477 131 114, chat to Lifeline online or access the Support Toolkit to self-manage what you’re going through at www.lifeline.org.au (all services are available 24/7).

Lifeline has celebrated its 60th anniversary this year.