Support is always there: new after-hours crisis line opens

18 February 2019

A new 1300 telephone crisis line, which will operate outside standard ANU Counselling Service hours, is now available for ANU students to speak to someone outside of 9am to 5pm.

The new ANU Crisis Line is operated by University Crisis Line, a business unit of Lifeline Direct but the welfare support service has been working closely with the University to identify the specific needs of the ANU community.

As well as after hours on weekdays, the new telephone line also operates on weekends and public holidays.

"The service is intended to help callers find immediate relief from emotional distress. It also helps callers to explore coping strategies for the current crisis, safely manage any immediate threats to life or safety and open pathways for longer-term solutions and next steps for the caller to take," said General Manager, University Crisis Line, Niall Mulligan.

The new service will work in with the University's already extensive counselling support network and existing ANU protocols around these services for students.

"This service will be closely connected with the ANU counselling team and where risk is an issue, after-hours calls will be referred to a more acute service if needed," says Deputy Director, Access, Inclusion and Wellbeing, Tania Willis.

"The ANU counselling team will then follow up or make appointments with the student when the counselling centre is next open."

As part of the new crisis line service, a supplementary SMS text message service is also available for those wanting to reach out but prefer to do so discreetly.

Contact details:

ANU Crisis Support Line 5pm-9am weekdays, 24/7 weekends and public holidays

Phone (voice calls only): 1300 050 327

SMS Text message service:  0488 884 170

The ANU Crisis Support Line is managed by the Division of Student Life and is a SSAF funded project

Frequently asked questions:

I need to speak to someone but it's after 6pm. What do I do?

You can call the Crisis Support Line on 1300 050 327 or send a text to 0488 884 170 between 5pm-9am weekdays and 24/7 weekends. If the line is busy when you call, you will receive a call back and a text message as soon as possible.

Where else can I get help?

If you are a current enrolled student, you can access ANU counselling services<> on campus. Additionally, as an enrolled student of ANU, you also have access to free National Health Co-op membership<>. This provides you with bulk-billed access to GP, psychological and other allied services located both on and off campus.

External support services are also available:

Lifeline - provides 24/7 telephone counselling - 13 11 14 ACT Access Mental Health - 24-hour mental health emergency access & support 1800 629 354 or 6205 1065 Suicide Call back service - 24-hour crisis counselling and call back 1300 659 467

1800 Respect - 24 hour National Sexual assault and domestic violence counselling service - 1800 737 732 Canberra Rape Crisis Service - A crisis and counselling telephone support service: 7am-11pm - 6247 2525. This service is also available on campus for enrolled ANU students and appointments can be made through this number. Be sure to let them know you are an ANU student Mensline - 24-hour telephone counselling & support for men - 1300 78 99 79 Health Direct - 24-hour medical & health advice line staffed by registered nurses - 1800 022 222.

If I'm overseas on exchange or a field school, can I use this service?

In most countries, 1300 numbers can't be dialled internationally. If the University's Counselling Service is closed at the time and you need support unable to dial through on the 1300 number, send an SMS text message to the crisis line text message service 0488 884 170 and a crisis line member of staff will contact you. Please note that this service is only available after hours EST in Australia.  During business hours, the ANU counselling service can be contacted at or +61 2 6125 2442.

I'm a student leader within a hall and have been supporting a student in a crisis and would like to talk to someone urgently, can I use this service?

Yes. Let the operator know your role and they will provide you with a debriefing service.

I'm an ANU staff member and a very distressed student has come for support and it's now past 5:00pm and I'm not sure what to do. Can I work with the student to make a call?

Yes. Absolutely! And don't forget your own wellbeing. Ensure you follow up with your supervisor and/or make an appointment with the Staff Adviser, Gail Frank on 53616 the next work day. Alternatively you can contact the Employee Assistance Program on 1800 808 374 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.