All-hours Support Line
What is the All-hours Support Line?
The All-hours Support Line (ASL) is a confidential telephone service for ADF members and their families that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The ASL is designed as a triage line, which simply means that it is there to help you access ADF or civilian mental health services more easily. Services that you can access include psychology, medical, social work, and chaplain services.
The ASL is provided by a very experienced outside agency that has been contracted by the ADF to provide this service. The company employs health professionals (nurses, psychologists, and social workers mainly) as their operators and provides this type of service to a number of other government agencies and private companies in Australia and overseas. The company's personnel have been trained on the issues that ADF members and their families face, and what services are most appropriate to assist them. When calling the ASL, you can expect a qualified, mental health professional, who has a good understanding of what is available to you.
Who can use the ASL?
The ASL is designed to help any ADF member or their family access the support they are entitled to receive from the ADF. They can also help you identify what services are available in your general community to help solve the problem.
What happens if I call the ASL?
If you call the ASL, an operator should answer your call and identify themselves as being from the ASL. They will advise you of the ASL confidentiality rules. The operator will work with you to identify what problems you might be experiencing and help decide what is the best source of help.
In some cases you might need emergency help and the ASL will guide you to getting that help, or can organise it for you. In other cases, your need for help will be less urgent and the ASL might simply arrange for someone to contact you the next day. In other cases, they might simply give you the information that you need to contact the appropriate agency as a time that suits you best.
What is meant by confidential?
The ASL operates under some very strict rules about confidentiality. They will ask if the caller wants to access ADF provided facilities, and most times people will answer yes. For those people, their details will be taken and passed on to the agency to which they are referred. The process is no different than if it was a referral from a doctor to another specialist. The only records that will be kept will be those normally kept by the ADF agency that they are referred to (medical, psychology, Defence Community Organisation, etc).
Some people may not want to use ADF provided services. For such people, only enough details will be taken to ensure that the ASL can direct them to the appropriate resources in the local community. In these cases, no personal information will be passed on to the ADF at all. If the ASL operator determines that either the person or someone else is in danger, they might call the police or the ambulance, but this is exactly what any other health provider is required to do by law.
19 October, 2011