Through bushfire, drought, flood and COVID-19, Lifeline is here for you

Categories: Community

LIFELINE CELEBRATES 57 YEARS AND IS IN MORE DEMAND THAN EVER

On Monday 16 March, Lifeline, Australia’s largest suicide prevention service, will mark 57 years since answering its first call.

Established in 1963, Lifeline was created to ensure no person in Australia has to face their darkest moments alone. Over this time, Lifeline has answered millions of calls from Australians in crisis and at risk of suicide.

Lifeline Chairman, John Brogden said this summer, Lifeline experienced a massive increase in demand for its 24/7 service (13 11 14) and introduced the 13 HELP (13 43 57) dedicated bushfire recovery line. Lifeline is now receiving up to 3,000 calls a day – that’s a call from an Australian in crisis every 30 seconds.

“This summer, our communities have faced some extraordinary challenges, drought, flood, bushfires and now COVID-19, all on top of the usual stress people experience. What we’ve seen for the last 57 years, is that when feeling overwhelmed, Australians turn to Lifeline for support.”

Mr Brogden said that this is the first time Lifeline has experienced such a sustained spike in calls.

“From 1 November last year, we’ve been answering 10 – 15% more calls a day than in any other period. It’s great that Australians are recognising the importance of talking through their feelings and that they are taking action to seek help.”

Mr Brogden recognised the 10,000 volunteers working for Lifeline around the nation.

“It would be impossible to respond to this many calls without the commitment of Lifeline’s volunteers who have given additional hours this summer to ensure Lifeline can be here for every Australian who needs us. Our volunteers are the backbone of Lifeline, they give their time to listen without judgement, so they can help Australians hold on to hope and save lives.”

Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury’s CEO, Wendy Carver, said that the local crisis support services provided by Lifeline were continuing to see strong demand.

“Every day, the local face-to-face services provided by Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury help reduce distress and support people in our community through moments of crisis. Our local services are all free or low-cost, so anyone can access the help they need through our office in Gordon.”

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation. The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe, every day.

Lifeline provides support to any person in Australia who is experiencing thoughts of suicide or caring for someone experiencing thoughts of suicide. The service is available at any time via phone: 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days a week); Text: 0477 13 11 14 (6pm – midnight AEDT) and online at www.lifeline.org.au (7pm – midnight AEDT every night.)

For further information about the local services available on the North Shore, visit www.lifelineh2h.org.au