A new 24-hour mental health phone line has been launched to assist people access supports and services.

Callers to the 'Your Mental Health' information number will be connected to the most appropriate service provider for their needs, nationally or locally, by trained National Ambulance Service (NAS) personnel.

The freephone service can be contacted on 1800 111 888.

There are more than 1,000 mental health services, funded by the Health Service Executive, available to people across the country.

The new confidential phone line will provide universal access to the various supports through one centralised number and it also aims to increase accessibility to services.

Since it began operating last month, the phone line has already received over 400 calls.

It was officially launched today at the National Emergency Operations Centre of the NAS in Tallaght in Dublin.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said there are extensive mental health services in Ireland but "it is often the case that they are not well joined up."

Speaking at the launch, he said the services "either overlap or there are gaps between them."

Mr Varadkar said the new dedicated phone line "will allow people to access the mental health service they need, when they need it and where they need it."

The Minister for Health Simon Harris said it will provide "advice, guidance and assistance at a very difficult time" for people.

And he said the service is "part of the wider effort to destigmatise" mental health issues.

Along with the phone line, there are also plans to roll out online counselling initiatives and a national crisis text line in the coming months.