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Bank Austria: EUR 10,000 for ORF Helpline "147 - Rat auf Draht"

Bank Austria is supporting ORF's helpline for children and young people, "147 – Rat auf Draht", with the sum of EUR 10,000. The money is to be used for all-year-round coaching for the team of counsellors and is aimed at providing quality support for the psychological care given by the helpline to children, young people and their parental figures. "If you consider that on average 600 people seek help each day from the helpline, some with serious psychological, social and family problems, it is easy to imagine the permanent pressure that the counsellors working there are under. Professional coaching helps to them to process what they hear and be able to cope with the pressure in the long run", explained Ralph Müller, Board member at Bank Austria responsible for retail and corporate clients, when handing over the cheque today to finance the Bank's commitment to the ORF service.

Round-the-clock help: 15 advisers help in crisis situations
With "147 – Rat auf Draht", ORF is the only European TV station to run a free emergency number that takes on the role of a low-threshold, psychological advisory centre. 15 trained psychologists, therapists, educators, family and social counsellors and lawyers work in rotation 24 hours a day to provide effective help and support to children, young people or their parental figures in crisis situations. The crises range from problems at school, problems with family and friends, lovesickness, loneliness and drug problems to psychological and physical violence. The explosive nature of the activity and the prevention goal of the helpline become apparent particularly in cases where the counsellors have to avert life-threatening situations such as suicide. "Our telephone counsellors take on a huge responsibility with their work whilst also providing a form of social protection. As part of the adult world, they accompany young people in their development towards independence", explains Michaela Cirka, the head of "147 – Rat auf Draht".

Bank Austria Sustainability Programme: focus on children and young people
Within the framework of its sustainability activities, Bank Austria lays particular emphasis on providing support to children and young people. In addition to supporting the "147 – Rat auf Draht" helpline, the Bank now has 10 "home" sponsorships at the SOS Children's Village, which means it helps one sponsored family in each of the 10 Austrian SOS Children's Villages to finance their day-to-day needs. In conjunction with the Vienna Ombudsoffice for Children and Youth (KJA), since May of this year Bank Austria has also helped with the professional training of 60 mentors in the "gemma's an" (Let's tackle it together!) mentor project. From 21 to 24 July 2008 Bank Austria will be collaborating with the Austrian Youth Red Cross (ÖJRK) and inviting around 30 young people to Austria from around Europe for a "Friendship Camp" to exchange thoughts and cultures.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Press Office Austria
Alexander Tröbinger, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52809
E-Mail: Alexander.Troebinger@unicreditgroup.at

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