Today Google is launching special search results for searches relating to poisoning and suicide in Australia.
When you need to find the hotline for poison control, chances are you need to find it fast.
Starting today, if you search on Google.com.au for a term like “poisoning” you’ll see a special search result at the very top of the page — a large red phone icon and the words: “For a poison emergency in Australia call 13 11 26.”
This number will put you in direct touch with the Poisons Information Centre, a 24/7 hotline service accessible from anywhere in Australia.
Similarly, a search on Google.com.au for certain terms related to suicide will turn up a large red phone icon and the words: “Need help? In Australia, call 13 11 14.”
This number will put callers in touch with Lifeline Australia, a 24-hour, confidential national suicide prevention hotline to support anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Google’s Roni Zeiger, a physician by training, started this effort in the U.S. last year when he received an email from a mother who had trouble finding the phone number for the poison control hotline after her daughter accidentally ingested something potentially poisonous (fortunately, her daughter was fine).
Soon after Google added a special result for poison control, he started hearing from Google colleagues whose lives had been affected by suicide and who thought that suicide prevention could be another case for a special search result.
Roni Zeiger said: “People come to Google to search for information. Particularly in times of crisis, it’s especially important for them to find the crucial information they’re looking for, and find it fast, and these special search results can save precious moments.
Following positive feedback from consumers and our hotline partners in the US, we’re expanding the program to Australia today.
Australian partners, Lifeline and the Poisons Information Centre, have welcomed this initiative.
Lifeline’s Acting CEO Angus Clelland said today, “Lifeline is always looking for innovative ways to help more people who are experiencing an emotional crisis.
“This initiative by Google will assist us to reach more people in need, so we are very proud to be partnering with them on this important measure.
“We know it will, quite literally, help us save more lives.”
“It is time-critical that people are able to get the right advice on poisonings, snake or spider bites,” said Dr. Naren Gunja, Medical Director and Toxicologist, NSW Poisons Information Centre at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
“This initiative by Google will help save lives. People look to Google for information and the 24 hour emergency phone number 13 11 26 will now be easy to find. ”
“Our partners here in Australia do an amazing job supporting people through crises and we’re pleased to be able to support their work in this small way,” Roni Zeiger said.