Lifeline celebrates milestone during Volunteer Week
10,000 Crisis Supporters volunteer over past five years
With more than 10,000 Telephone Crisis Supporters giving their time over the past five years, Lifeline is this week celebrating National Volunteer Week by acknowledging the kindhearted work of its volunteers – past and present – based in communities across Australia.
Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel said the week was an important time for the national charity to thank its volunteers, promote a whole-of-community response to suicide and send a message of hope to those struggling with life’s challenges.
“With about a million interactions across our 13 11 14 crisis line and online Crisis Support Chat service last year, we know better than most the extent of Australia’s national suicide emergency,” Mr Shmigel said.
“However, we also see daily reminders of the strength and resilience that exists within individuals and within communities; our 3000 active Crisis Supporters seek to draw out these attributes in every contact.
“And while it’s not an easy job, we know our volunteers – beyond their service with Lifeline – take away lifelong skills that support their workplaces, families, friendship groups and even whole communities.”
Mr Shmigel also acknowledged the thousands of other volunteers that support Lifeline’s vision of an Australia free of suicide in their own way.
“Whether you’re a book sorter, truck driver, or retail shop staff member, you play a crucial role in ensuring we have the resources to be there for Australians when they’re struggling or having thoughts of suicide,” Mr Shmigel said.
Other key Lifeline volunteer facts and numbers include:
- Between 2012-16, Lifeline’s Telephone Crisis Supporters (TCS) provided about 89 years of crisis support to Australians
- About 50 individual TCSs have done at least one shift every month for the past five years
- Lifeline’s Crisis Supporters come from all backgrounds and professions, including lawyers, journalists, teachers and even TV personalities
- Crisis Supporters have been trained in every State and Territory, with most located in NSW (43%), Qld (18%) and Vic (16%)
National Volunteer Week (8-14 May) is an annual campaign from Volunteering Australia to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s six million volunteers.
For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp
INTERVIEWS: contact [email protected] or 0408 407 376.
TO DONATE: SMS ‘HOPE’ to 0477 333 888 to donate $10 or more to Lifeline and help save lives now.