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By the end of 2017, all mental health-related calls, including those to 111, will be triaged through a single system as part of the telehealth service."This 24/7 service will ensure a mental health response to people who reach out to police, health, social, and community services at a time of mental health crisis or distress," Coleman said."The new system will involve a trained expert being on hand to help identify and co-ordinate appropriate responses, referrals and support."In total, there were 147,097 contacts - either calls, texts or emails, to the National Telehealth Service between October - December 2016 compared with 152,097 between July – September 2016.WHERE TO GET HELP: For youth there's nz which offers a safe forum where teens can ask questions. The national telehealth service free and confidential 24/7 helpline can be reached at 0800 111 757, or the text service can be reached on 4202 for adults, or 5626 for young people.
* Lifeline faces closure as Government rejects pleas for funding * Nine in 10 health workers feels under-staffed and under-resourced Mental health expert Dr Sue Bagshaw said young people were increasingly experiencing "social phobia", which led to an aversion to calling.Where an age was provided, 69 per cent of contact of this type came from people under 24."[The data] shows that particularly young people under the age of 24 are comfortable to engage with support services via [text], email and web chat," Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said."Texting is good because most people can afford that but it's indicative that there are more mental health problems for young people these days."I think sometimes [they text] because they can't get through on the phone.But more and more young people are finding it difficult to use telephones."Texting is their main method of support now."Bagshaw stressed the need for face-to-face services as well for youth. "I worry about people who don't have smartphones and can't access this kind of help."[Youth] are the ones that need a face-to-face service as well, but can't afford a face-to-face service."But frontline mental health services were under immense strain and increasingly "overworked and underpaid", Bagshaw said."We just haven't enough therapists."MENTAL HEALTH CALLS TO 111In February it was revealed police responded to more than 18,000 calls coded as "threatens/attempts suicide" across the country in 2015-16, up from 14,000 in 2012-13.