Helplines have a duty to ensure that all callers get the best possible, most effective help. Callers put their trust and faith when seeking help and helplins must respond professionally. They often don’t want to talk to someone face to face. The anonymity and confidentiality the phone (or email) provides is priceless. Often a single call to a helpline can be enough to guide someone on the path to self help or to seeking other professional help.
Presently there are many services that claim to provide such ‘quality’ services. Helplines Australia however, has found that such claims are often subjective and unfounded. Furthermore, Helplines Australia has found that the lack of established broad based principles of good operational practice means that any agency or individual can set up a helpline service and claim to be able to offer help.
The Australian public has the right to be confident that seeking help will be responded to in a professional and competent manner, that information given will be accurate and appropriate and that people in emotional distress are not exploited.
Helplines Australia, through its guidelines, membership criteria, professional development and newsletters provides its members with the basis for offering services of high quality. Our statistics show that the demand for telephone and email support is increasing. Our members report of increasing call numbers.
By calling helplines, people may be able to avoid inappropriate use of statutory services or NGOs. They may be guided to more suitable forms of help or be provided with information that removes the necessity for other help. For some people, the act of calling and talking to a compassionate, well trained, person at the end of a phone line can be all that they need at that time.
Helplines exist for the benefit of their callers. Each helpline has its own special identity and character; no two services are the same. Helplines Australia is committed to this statement of philosophy and values, which should inform and underpin the work of all member helplines.