Research Study Establishes the Value of Lifeline Online Chat Service
Release date: 1 May 2014
Lifeline knows it makes a difference for the people who contact it, but a research study has now measured the economic value of this difference for the Lifeline Online Crisis Support Chat Service.
“This research demonstrates the importance of crisis support services that help people in distress, says Alan Woodward, Executive Director of the Lifeline Research Foundation.
“The financial analysis finds that for every dollar invested, there is a ‘return’ to the Australian community of $8.40 – a remarkable illustration of the value of this service.”
“Moving beyond the financial numbers, the research also finds that the Chat Service is attractive to suicidal people seeking help. In fact, 45% of those who visit the service state that they have thought of suicide on the day that they contact Lifeline.”
“Visitors to the Lifeline Chat Service revealed the impact it has in reducing suicidality, improving a person’s sense of belonging and being able to deal with the crisis issues in their lives.”
“Of particular interest, 37% of users of the Chat Service state that they will not use other services.”
“This shows that the online environment provides an accessible and private way for people experiencing personal crisis to seek help, and in doing so can interrupt the development of a suicidal state which may result in a person attempting to end their life.”
“All over the world, the potential to use technology to connect with people and show a caring response is being recognised; Lifeline Australia is amongst those leading the use of technology.”
The Lifeline Research Foundation – with generous funding support from the MLC Community Foundation – commissioned experts to undertake the Social Return on Investment (SROI) study of the Lifeline Online Crisis Support Chat Service.
MLC Community Foundation Manager Luke Branagan said: "Mental health and suicide prevention are serious and growing issues facing society and the economy. Through the MLC Community Foundation we support and collaborate with not for profits to improve mental health outcomes which benefit our people, customers and our business.”
The SROI methodology is increasingly being viewed as an appropriate way to examine the effectiveness and value of charitable activities and community services.
The full Report on the SROI Study of Lifeline Online Crisis Support Chat service may be requested by emailing [email protected].
For further information or comment contact: John Mendel 0408 407 376