Multicultural communities urged to seek crisis support
With recent tragic reports of suicide among members of Australia’s multicultural communities, Lifeline Australia is urging people of diverse backgrounds to seek crisis support when they need it.
The national charity’s CEO Pete Shmigel said that the growing suicide emergency does not discriminate, and is having devastating impacts on friends and families in diverse communities across the country.
“I want to express our sorrow at hearing of the recent events. It’s truly heartbreaking to see reports of suicide among our multicultural communities, or indeed any community,” Mr Shmigel said.
“Whether you’re an international student under pressure to perform or someone feeling isolated by cultural, faith, ethnic or linguistic barriers, including the migration and settlement process, Lifeline’s 24/7 crisis services are there for you. Our highly-skilled and kind-hearted Crisis Supporters can help you cope with what you’re going through and provide appropriate referral services.”
Mr Shmigel also highlighted that, while support is currently available to non-English speakers, the national charity is urgently working to make its services more accessible, culturally safe and appropriate.
“Data has shown that, where such information is disclosed, about 7 per cent of calls to our 13 11 14 crisis line are from people who speak a language other than English at home,” Mr Shmigel said.
“This shows that Lifeline’s 24/7 caring and non-judgement services do support people from all walks of life, with some contacting us through the free Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS). However, we’re currently exploring opportunities to improve the way we provide support to multicultural communities, including through our nightly Online Crisis Support Chat service and proposed Crisis Text service.
“It’s not just about making crisis support more accessible for non-English speakers, but also more sensitive to the different cultures, attitudes and outlooks that make up our rich and diverse community.”
For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.
More information on the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS):
A free interpreting service for people who do not speak English is available for 13 11 14. To access this service, people should:
1) Call TIS on 131 450 and ask to talk to Lifeline on 13 11 14 in the language required.
2) TIS will call 13 11 14 on behalf of the caller.
A call to TIS is the cost of a local call from landlines (additional charges apply for mobiles).
Find out more at: www.tisnational.gov.au.