55 per cent of calls from people who live alone
New analysis by Lifeline Australia shows that 55 per cent of calls to its 13 11 14 crisis line come from people who live alone, highlighting the need for more connection in modern Australia.
The national charity’s CEO Pete Shmigel said that a recent change in the way the organisation recorded caller data revealed just how far feelings of isolation and despair extended in the community.
“It’s heartbreaking to think of the immense loneliness experienced by so many of our neighbours, but heart-warming that so many are turning to the compassionate support offered by Lifeline’s 4000 trained Crisis Supporters,” Mr Shmigel said.
“And while people can be assured their personal data will remain confidential, the recent change has helped us paint a stronger picture of where community need is greatest, and how we can better support that need.
“The living arrangements, ages and Indigenous status of callers are now recorded when this information is offered. For instance, from January to March, about 40 per cent of calls came from people aged 45-65 years and 4.2 per cent from people who self-identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.”
Mr Shmigel said that, with the number of suicides in Australia reaching a ten-year-plus high – at eight per day, or one every three hours – Lifeline will continue to evolve in order to tackle the country’s national suicide emergency.
“We plan to collect further information, such as whether someone has called after a hospital admission due to a suicide attempt, and then use this to better adapt our services and outreach to do the most good.”
Key quarterly data (1 Jan – 31 March):
- 60 per cent of callers to 13 11 14 were female; 39 per cent male; 1 per cent intersex
- The top three categories of crisis calls were family and relationships (24%), mental health (18%) and issues pertaining to ‘self’ (18%)
- Ages of callers:
Under 18 years: 1%
18-24 years: 8%
25-44 years: 35%
45-65 years: 42%
Over 65 years: 14%
- Living arrangements:
Children only: 7%
Flatmate or co-tenant: 6%
Spouse of partner: 16%
For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.