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Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

The phone line that’s saving lives

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Every day many Australians are in danger of taking their own lives. Many succeed. Lifeline needs more volunteers to answer calls from people in crisis.

The most recent ABS statistics for deaths by suicide do not make comfortable reading. In 2017 3128 Australians took their own lives. That translates to more than 8 per day or 1 every 3 hours. This represents a significant increase on the 2866 people who took their lives in 2016. The national suicide rate has increased to 12.6 per 100,000 Australians, which is the second highest rate in 10 years.

It is time to recognise the scale of the challenge, and Lifeline, whose core belief is that suicide prevention is everybody’s business, is committed to playing its part in reducing deaths by suicide.

Lifeline volunteers, from all over Australia, answer more than 2000 calls every day but at busy periods there are calls that go unanswered. We need to answer every call and Lifeline needs your help to do that.

Lifeline volunteers are ordinary people doing extraordinary work. They come from all walks of life and all sorts of backgrounds, but they share one thing – a passion to save lives and make our community a better place.

If you share that passion, consider yourself an empathic person and have some time to contribute, it could be you who saves a life.

Lifeline’s Lismore-based volunteers are doing a great job – they will answer more than 20,000 calls in 2019, but they want to make an even more effective contribution by increasing volunteer numbers.

Currently there are approximately 65 Crisis Support volunteers working out of the Lismore Lifeline centre and we are looking to add at least 20 more to that number.

This additional staffing is required to do better for our community, particularly at those times where the need for extra resourcing is greatest, early mornings, evenings and weekends.

Lifeline offers a life-saving and life-changing alternative. It is always there for those confronting crisis and suicide, but also for those who trust Lifeline with their ongoing and often complex problems. There are never any hoops to jump through or barriers to receiving help or judgements made – Lifeline provide a confidential and caring service and are only a phone call or online chat away. With Lifeline Centres, staff and volunteers based in every State and Territory across the country, there is a strong relationship with the community, in fact Lifeline answers more calls than all the other Australian helplines combined.

Training includes a significant element of on-line eLearning reinforced by six classroom-based modules and two days of experiential training. This leads to a closely supervised and supported workplace training program which prepares the volunteer for their lifesaving role as a Crisis Supporter with Lifeline.

If you are an empathic person who values community and are interested in working with people and saving lives – this could be a great opportunity for you. To receive a detailed information pack about the training –

Email: [email protected] or call 6622 4133.


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