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Lifeline media releases

Lifeline is committed to advocating for the prioritisation of mental health and wellbeing and working with media to reduce stigma and ensure the safe and responsible reporting of all aspects of mental health.

Lifeline Australia takes a proactive approach to working with media who play a critical role in assisting us to:

  • Advocate for equality in access to mental health supports
  • Ensure Australians are aware that our services are available to anyone in Australia who needs us
  • Reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health and suicide; and
  • Promote positive help-seeking and help-giving behaviour change. 

Below are some of the recent media releases Lifeline has distributed to the nation-wide media:

SYDNEY LOCAL NAMED LIFELINE VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

Lifeline Australia has awarded Sydney local Merlyne Thompson with the national charity’s volunteer of the year award.

Federal Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt today announced that the winner of Lifeline Australia’s Mary Parsissons Outstanding Volunteer of the Year is Ms Merlyne Thompson a volunteer from Sydney’s Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury centre in Gordon.

“I congratulate Merlyne and would like to pass on my thanks to her, as a representative of all Lifeline volunteers, when we say you save lives and protect lives, that’s what you do.” Said Minister Hunt.

Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury CEO Wendy Carver said that Ms Thompson who has been volunteering since 1998 (22 years), has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the organisation’s vision of an Australia free of suicide.

“Merlyne Thompson is a very worthy winner of the Mary Parsissons Outstanding Volunteer Award,” Mrs Carver said.

“Merlyne has been with us for more than 22 years, volunteering as a Crisis Supporter, Board Secretary, and providing a significant contribution to Lifeline in her role as an administrative volunteer. Merlyne has been involved in a wide range of important projects, including the internal recognition of Lifeline’s large workforce of volunteers and ensuring good governance of our Lifeline centre. It has always been my pleasure to work with Merlyne and we are delighted to see her many years of compassionate contribution being recognised at the national level,” said Mrs Carver.

Ms Thompson was both pleased and humbled to receive the award, saying her work with Lifeline is some of the most rewarding work of her life:

“To be told I was nominated was amazing, but to be told I’ve won, I cannot believe it! Particularly this year when everyone knows what a year we’ve had through drought, flood, bushfire and COVID, we’ve been incredibly challenged.

“This year, we haven’t just worked hard at Lifeline, we’ve shone. Touching more lives than ever before and it’s an absolute honour to be involved.  I would like to acknowledge all the team here, everyone who has challenged me, guided me, supported me and changed me, this is all of ours…I have to say thank you for having me on your team, because I think Lifeline is just amazing. Thank you so much for this honour.” Said Ms Thompson.

Lifeline Australia Chairman Mr John Brogden thanked Ms Thompson for using her heart-warming compassion and professional skill to help prevent suicide.

 “Merlyne Thompson has made an extraordinary contribution to Lifeline, both as a Crisis Supporter and utilising her professional skills to support policy and Board development at Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury. She is a highly regarded member of the Lifeline family and we are delighted to recognise her today.” Mr Brogden said.

“Merlyne is one of our 10,000 volunteers across the country, including about 3,500 Crisis Supporters, working together to tackle our national suicide emergency. We do this by being there for people when they’re at their most vulnerable – giving them hope when hope seems impossible.” He continued.

 The Mary Parsissons Outstanding Volunteer Award recognises the outstanding efforts of the volunteering across the country. It awards volunteers who have showed excellence in their volunteer field, contributed to the community, have been an inspiration within their centre and demonstrated leadership. The winner nominated by Lifeline Australia for an Australia Day Award.

For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.

Note on the award:

The Mary Parsissons Outstanding Volunteer Award – is named after Mary Parsissons – herself an outstanding volunteer.

Mary trained to become a Lifeline Crisis Supporter 25 years ago and volunteered on the phones for many years.

She then joined the Board of Lifeline Tasmania where she was President for six years, then served on the Lifeline Australia National Board for 14 years, and was the Australian representative for Lifeline International for nine years.

Mary humbly accepted the award being named after her. She hopes it will give volunteers inspiration as a wonderful way to honour their work.

The national winner will be awarded:

  • The Mary Parsissons Outstanding Volunteer Award plaque.
  • They will be the national spokesperson/face of volunteering for Lifeline Australia
  • The winner of the award will automatically be nominated by Lifeline Australia for an Australia Day Award.

 

To volunteer or donate to Lifeline, visit: www.lifeline.org.au

John Brogden, Chairman, Lifeline Australia, welcomed the launch of the NSW Government’s state-wide monitoring system as a significant step toward saving lives.

 

“The introduction of a suicide and self-harm monitoring system will greatly improve the way suicide prevention services can respond to suicide risk.  Quite simply, access to this information will help us save lives.” Mr Brogden said.

 

“This is a hopeful step, especially for communities who are grappling with rising loss of life.  It will give us greater insight into where the immediate and heightened risk is occurring, enabling us to put in place preventative measures that will reduce the risk of harm as soon as it is identified.” Mr Brogden continued.

 

Before the launch of the suicide monitoring system, agencies had to rely on community groups and professional networks to identify immediate risks because the national cause of death data release occurred in October for the calendar year preceding it.

 

“A state-wide monitoring system will give us the opportunity to identify trends, emerging areas of concern and priority groups; and enable us to better co-ordinate intervention and supports across agencies.  We will be able to respond in real time with evidence-based solutions to immediate concerns.” Mr Brogden said.

 

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation.  The service expects to respond to well over one million requests for support by phone, online chat or text this year and will create an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

 

To donate to Lifeline, visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate 

 

To arrange an interview, please contact:   media@lifeline.org.au or phone: 0408 407 376

 

If you, or someone you know, is in need of support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days) or chat to a Crisis Supporter at lifeline.org.au (7pm – midnight, 7 nights)

6% increase in lives lost to suicide demands more funding urgently to reduce suicide in Australia. Nine Australians dying every day by suicide.

John Brogden, Chairman of Lifeline Australia, said today’s release of the 2018-2019 cause of death data by the ABS revealing 3,318 lives were lost to suicide is a tragedy and demands more funding urgently from government, business and the community.


“Firstly, we remember the 3,318 Australians who died by suicide in 2018-2019 and the many people left behind who are learning to live a life without their loved ones. Every life lost is a tragedy that effects our families, our workplaces and communities. Today will be a difficult day for many. I want to remind anyone who is struggling, that Lifeline is here for you, please call us at any time on 13 11 14.” He said.


“We need a whole of government, sector and community plan for suicide prevention to move fast towards an Australia free of suicide.”


Mr Brogden said Lifeline welcomed the appointment of Christine Morgan as the Prime Minister’s National Suicide Prevention Advisor in 2019 and expects a significant increase in funding and initiatives when her report is released next year.


Mr Brogden outlined five key areas Lifeline has identified as a priority to dramatically reduce the rate of lives lost to suicide in Australia with the top priority being the creation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and Crisis Support line:


“As today’s release shows, we must speed up our action in all areas, but our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are doing it particularly tough. With more than twice the rate of lives lost compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts, the loss of life within our Indigenous communities is a national tragedy.” Mr Brogden said.
Lifeline’s five identified priority areas to reduce suicide.:


1. The creation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and Crisis Support line that is governed and led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
2. Increasing the capacity for peer support groups facilitated by clinicians for survivors of suicide.
3. Increased suicide prevention training within community.
4. Support services for those at-risk of suicide post discharge.
5. Appropriate facilities and responses for people experiencing suicidal behaviour and presenting to Emergency Departments.


Mr Brogden also called on the community to continue to work to connect with each other, especially as we move into a challenging holiday season.


“This year has been very tough for so many Australians. They have been turning to Lifeline more in 2020 than at any other time in our 57 year history. It is great that people are connecting with Lifeline, but it also serves as a reminder that there are many doing it tough and many are alone. This is particularly concerning as we move into the holiday season.”


“I ask all Australians to never underestimate the power they have to make a positive difference in the lives of another person. If you know someone may be having a difficult time, if you know someone may be alone, please make a special effort to reach out to them. By checking in with someone to make sure they are doing ok, you are showing that you care and that can make all the difference. It is through connecting with others that we find the strength to hope.” Mr Brogden Said.


Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation. The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.


To donate to Lifeline, visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate To arrange an interview, please contact: media@lifeline.org.au or phone: 0408 407 376

Lifeline and The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention launch the Wellbeing and Healing Through Connection and Culture Report

Key recommendations: https://www.lifeline.org.au/about/our-research/connection-and-culture-report/


A culturally responsive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander e-mental health suicide prevention service should be guided by Indigenous governance and implement the following across all Lifeline services:


• Action Area 1: Sensitive processes for identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander callers
• Action Area 2: Development of a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lifeline telephone crisis line, online chat and/or text service designed by and delivered by a skilled Indigenous workforce.
• Action Area 3: An in-depth clinical understanding of the culturally unique risk and protective factors for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing to inform Lifeline crisis support

Today, Lifeline Australia, in partnership with The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention, will launch the Wellbeing and Healing Through Connection and Culture Report.

Authored by Professor Pat Dudgeon, Professor Gracelyn Smallwood, Associate Professor Roz Walker, Dr Abigail Bray and Tania Dalton, the report is the first literature review undertaken in Australia analysing the emerging research and knowledge, key themes and principles surrounding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural perspectives and concepts of healing and social and emotional wellbeing as they relate to suicide prevention.


John Brogden, Chairman of Lifeline Australia said:

“We are proud to be working with the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention to deliver this report today. This work makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the importance of cultural perspectives and concepts of healing and social and emotional wellbeing as they relate to suicide prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


At Lifeline, we know from experience that we all need human connection, but the experience of connection to culture and concepts of healing are unique to our First Nation’s Peoples. We commissioned this report to formally acknowledge the strength of that connection and seek to understand the hope that it brings.”


On behalf of the Board and Executive, Mr Brogden thanked the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention for this outstanding research:


“We especially acknowledge the Report’s authors; Professor Pat Dudgeon, Professor Gracelyn Smallwood, Associate Professor Roz Walker, Dr Abigail Bray and Tania Dalton for this ground-breaking work which will inform Lifeline Australia’s way forward by assisting us to deliver culturally competent and appropriate services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.” He said.


“The recommendations made in the report will be used to enhance our existing service delivery through collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, culturally responsive training programs and program development right across Australia. Most importantly, the recommendations of the report lay the groundwork for Lifeline to support delivery of a culturally responsive Indigenous designed and delivered national crisis line.” Mr Brogden continued.


Professor Pat Dudgeon, Bardi woman and Director, The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention, School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia said:
Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

“Lifeline should be commended for undertaking a report like this, ensuring that it was in the hands of Indigenous people, that it was Indigenous lead and it speaks to Indigenous realities, Indigenous priorities and aspirations.


It’s a report that looks at what’s happened to us as a population and what needs to happen for us to recover and heal. We build on a lot of the research and reports that have been done around Indigenous suicide prevention, particularly community driven programs and reports. This was important because we know from our own research that there needs to be Indigenous governance of the issue, as well as cultural perspectives. They are the two most important things in any undertaking to start looking at Indigenous suicide prevention.”


Professor Dudgeon said, the voice of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community firmly calls for genuine and proper co-design as the central element to any service looking to address Indigenous suicide prevention moving forward:


“Throughout this process, it was vital that we were able to prioritise what we thought was important. This will inform Lifeline and other services to deliver culturally competent and appropriate services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


It’s my expectation that this report will give a platform for Lifeline to engage in genuine and proper co-design with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to develop services that will meet their specific needs. That will be a very good thing.” Professor Dudgeon said.


Lifeline acknowledges Servier Australia for providing the funding to support the commission.


The report can be accessed: https://www.lifeline.org.au/about/our-research/connection-and-culture-report/


Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation. The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.


If you, or someone you know is in need of support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days) or chat to a Crisis Supporter online at lifeline.org.au (7pm – midnight / 7 nights)
To arrange an interview, please contact: media@lifeline.org.au or phone: 0408 407 376 to donate: lifeline.org.au 

National sporting organisations commit to landmark trans and gender diverse inclusion measures

In a world first, eight peak sporting bodies have committed to implementing governance that supports a greater level of inclusion for trans and gender diverse people in their sports.


At a launch held today at the Sydney Cricket Ground, leading national sporting organisations (NSOs) came together to unveil their policies and guidelines relating to the participation of trans and gender diverse people.

The NSOs are:
• AFL
• Hockey Australia
• Netball Australia
• Rugby Australia
• Tennis Australia
• Touch Football Australia
• UniSport Australia
• Water Polo Australia


In addition, a range of NSOs have also committed to developing trans and gender diverse inclusion frameworks for their sports following the launch, including:
• Australian Dragon Boating Federation
• Bowls Australia
• Diving Australia
• Football Federation Australia
• Golf Australia
• Gymnastics Australia
• Judo Australia
• Softball Australia
• Squash Australia
• Surf Life Saving Australia
• Swimming Australia
• Triathlon Australia


After launching their own trans and gender diverse inclusion governance in 2019, Cricket Australia have also committed to supporting other NSOs throughout this process.
This initiative, spearheaded by ACON’s Pride in Sport program, Australia’s only program specifically designed to assist sporting organisations with the inclusion of people of diverse sexualities and genders at all levels, was undertaken following the identification of a need for national guidance on how NSOs can be inclusive of trans and gender diverse people.


Pride in Sport National Program Manager, Beau Newell, said that the joint commitment made by the NSOs marks a major moment in Australian sport.


“This launch demonstrates a fundamental shift within Australian sport towards the greater inclusion of trans and gender diverse athletes. By formalising their stand to be inclusive of trans and gender diverse people, these Australian sports have shown a true and tangible commitment to providing environments where everyone involved is treated with respect and dignity,” Newell said.
“Sport has an amazing opportunity to provide a safe and inclusive environment to all people, including people with diverse genders and sexualities. As a country that holds sport very close to our hearts, it also has a unique position to be able to help change attitudes of many Australians. The demand for more inclusive sporting cultures makes clear that Australian society increasingly expects that sport should be for everyone, including trans and gender diverse people.”


Data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance state that trans and gender diverse adults are nearly 11 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population, with 35% of trans and gender diverse adults having attempted suicide in their lifetime. Further, international research concludes that trans and gender diverse people are much less likely to participate in sport due to fear of transphobic discrimination from other players, coaches and club officials.


Lifeline CEO Colin Seery said: “At Lifeline, we are well aware of the detrimental impacts of isolation, rejection and discrimination – impacts that can be so devastating to mental wellbeing, they can lead to suicide.
“A sense of belonging is one of our most important human needs and sport provides a great opportunity for connecting with others. Today’s commitment by these national sporting organisations to make their sports more welcoming, inclusive and safe for all Australians is a positive step towards saving lives,” Seery said.


ACON’s Manager of Trans and Gender Diverse Equity, Teddy Cook said: “We know that trans athletes can be targeted on the unfounded basis that we affirm our gender to seek a competitive advantage in sport, but this is untrue and incredibly damaging to all – trans people and our cis allies.


“While many trans people across Australia are members of very inclusive sports clubs, many also report that joining a club is an intimidating and frightening experience. The commitment from these sports provides much needed guidance to the many clubs working hard to be the open and inclusive sport they want to be for all athletes, including those athletes who are trans.


“It is the right of every player, coach, volunteer and fan to feel accepted and affirmed, on and off the sporting field, including trans and gender diverse people, and we know that when this happens, mental and physical health outcomes dramatically improve,” Cook said.


ACON Vice-President and Co-Founder of Pride in Sport, Andrew Purchas (OAM), heralded the launch as world-first move: “I congratulate all the NSOs that have made this landmark commitment in working towards a progressive and welcoming Australia, and encourage others to consider making their sports an inclusive place for all. We are proud of community sports clubs who continue to welcome and affirm their trans players, and to those who look forward to doing so in the near future.”


For more information on the guidelines, please visit prideinsport.com.au/trans


People needing support can contact Lifeline (24 hours a day) on 13 11 14 or chat to a Crisis Supporter online at lifeline.org.au (7pm-midnight).
ACON provides counselling support for LGBTIQ people and those affected by HIV. To make an inquiry, call (02) 9206 2000 or visit www.acon.org.au

The following services are also available for mental health and wellbeing assistance:
• Q Life – 1800 184 527
• Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
• Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636


ADDITIONAL QUOTES FROM NSOs


Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier:
“Hockey has always been proud of its inclusive nature, and we have a celebrated history of diversity and inclusion. Inclusion is one of Hockey Australia’s values, and we are proud to be demonstrating our commitment to this value. Hockey Australia welcomes everybody, exactly as they are.
“The release of these guidelines is a relatively small gesture from the sport, but one that we know is so very significant for the people it will impact.”
“These guidelines have been developed in consultation with all of our Member Associations, and we are grateful for their contribution and support. It is wonderful to see a truly whole of sport commitment to the inclusion of the trans and gender diverse community. Thank you also to Pride in Sport for their support and guidance through the development of these guidelines.
“Sport can bring people together like few things in society. The collective message sport is sending today is a powerful one. Hockey Australia is proud to be standing side by side with this group of national sporting organisations to let trans and gender diverse people know they are welcome in our codes.”


Netball Australia CEO Marne Fechner:
“This policy speaks to Netball’s commitment to providing welcoming and inclusive places for all people to play netball. It’s our job as leaders to provide an environment where transgender and gender diverse people feel welcome to participate our great game, while also taking into account athlete safety and protecting the integrity of the sport. We continue to work hard to ensure netball is a sport for all.
“We feel proud to release our policy as a part of the Pride In Sport announcement today. Policies and guidelines such as these continue to improve inclusion and diversity standards across Australian sport.”


Rugby Australia interim Chief Executive Rob Clarke:
‘’Rugby Australia wishes to applaud Pride in Sport for their efforts in ensuring all communities feel safe, welcomed and included in their chosen sport.
‘’Our code aligns with these values and has worked hard over the years to remove barriers for people wanting to play Rugby.
‘’In 2014, Rugby AU joined forces with four sporting codes to sign a Statement of Commitment for the Australian Human Rights Commissions and Australian Sports Commission’s Anti-Homophobia and Inclusion Framework.
‘’Since then we have introduced Community Rugby guidelines which support trans and gender diverse people playing Rugby, and have received positive feedback from clubs.”

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley:
“As a sport, tennis is unwavering in playing our part to ensure an inclusive society, and we welcome the introduction of these guidelines in making our communities accessible for all.
“We will continue to promote and celebrate inclusiveness and diversity, and are proud of our efforts to welcome all members of our community to participate in our sport. The tennis court and club should be a place of enjoyment and comfort for everyone, where people from all walks of life get to know each other without fear of judgement or harassment.
“Inclusivity is at the very core of what we do, and that also involves creating an environment where people feel safe and comfortable to be themselves.”

Touch Football Australia CEO Jamie O’Connor:
“Touch Football helps people connect and provides a community for people to belong to. That’s why it’s so important that in delivering our sport we provide an environment that is safe, inclusive and welcoming for everyone, no matter a person’s background, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age or anything else. In Touch Football, we are always striving to provide a ‘place on the field for everyone’, a sport that ‘everyone can play’, but we can’t just say that without action – we need to provide meaningful guidelines and resources for those who deliver and participate in our sport so we can create Touch communities that are genuinely safe and inclusive.”


AFL General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy Tanya Hosch:
“I want to thank the community members who have been patiently engaged with us during this process, in particular the gender diverse community who were extremely generous in sharing with us their experience and views which has influenced our policies.
“Australian football is a game for everyone, regardless of background, ethnicity, race, religion, gender or gender identity. The AFL is committed to supporting gender diverse people participate in our sport and has developed policies to ensure they can participate in a safe and inclusive environment. We don’t want anyone to experience discrimination in our game.
“We are pleased to have also developed an implementation guide to assist community clubs to understand their responsibilities, and actions in way that will enhance the inclusiveness for all. This will be released in the coming weeks.”

AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan:
“We know that inclusion and belonging delivers real social benefits for individuals and communities, and we want to send a message that all are welcome in our game.
“We are pleased to collaborate with all the major sporting organisations of Australia in taking this important practical and symbolic step towards improved inclusion in sport and the community more generally.”

UniSport Australia:
“UniSport Australia applauds and congratulates Pride in Sport and the nine national sporting organisations involved in today’s announcement. The new sports specific trans and gender diverse policies are a significant step forward to providing a safe and inclusive environment in sport across all levels of sport in which we are proud to be part of. As the peak body of university sport in Australia, UniSport is committed to providing opportunities for student-athletes that recognise that everyone has a fundamental right to play sport in an environment with dignity and respect.
“UniSport Australia looks forward to continuing to work with Pride in Sport, our 43 university members and the national sporting organisations to deliver safe, inclusive sporting competitions for student athletes.”

Water Polo Australia CEO Richard McInnes:
“As a founding member of Pride in Sport, Water Polo Australia is proud to join today with leading national sporting organisations to further extend our sport inclusion policies to include transgender and gender diverse people.
“Water Polo Australia wants all people, from athletes to officials and volunteers, to feel welcome in our sport and we are committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for everyone including people with diverse genders and sexualities.”

Cricket Australia Interim CEO Nick Hockley:
“Today is a significant moment in Australian sport with this announcement clearly demonstrating a fundamental shift towards making sure that a number of national sporting organisations are all committed to further developing an inclusive culture in sport.
“It’s been 12 months since Cricket Australia launch its own policy for transgender and gender diverse players and we are proud to see other national sporting organisations coming together to ensure that sport is welcoming to everyone.
“Discrimination of any sort has no place in our game and all of Australian Cricket is driven to ensure all cricketers can participate in a safe and inclusive environment.”

Lifeline welcomes the National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring System website


Today, Colin Seery, Lifeline Australia Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the launch of a National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring System website by the Australian Mental Health Commission and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIWH) as a significant step toward.


The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released the public website which is funded by the Department of Health.


Mr Seery said: “This suicide and self-harm monitoring system will greatly improve the way suicide prevention services can respond to suicide risk. It will provide us with greater insight into where both the immediate and heightened risk is occurring, enabling us to put in place preventative measures that will mitigate the risk of harm as soon as it is identified.”
Before the launch of the risk register, agencies had to rely on community groups and professional networks to identify immediate risks because the national cause of death data release occurred in October for the calendar year preceding it.

“Once all states are contributing data to the system, this system will give us the opportunity to identify trends, emerging areas of concern and priority groups; which in turn, will facilitate better co-ordination of intervention and supports across agencies. This will help us respond in real time with evidence-based solutions to immediate concerns. It is a hopeful step, especially for communities who are grappling with rising loss of life. Quite simply, access to this information will help us save lives.” Mr Seery said.


While the monitoring system has sections that are specifically for the information of service providers, it will also offer insight to members of the public so they can be more aware of potential risks.
Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation. The service expects to respond to well over one million requests for support by phone, online chat or text this year and will create an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.


To donate to Lifeline, visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate


To arrange an interview, please contact: media@lifeline.org.au or phone: 0408 407 376

On Tuesday September 8, Lifeline’s 13 11 14 crisis line received more calls than ever in its 57-year history with 3,326 calls being made by Australians in crisis.

 

John Brogden shared his own story in today’s SMH OpEd: https://www.smh.com.au/national/why-i-m-worried-about-suicide-in-australia-by-a-former-political-leader-who-personally-knows-the-risks-20200909-p55tr1.html

 

Mr John Brogden, Chairman, Lifeline Australia said with World Suicide Prevention Day and RUOK? Day tomorrow, there has never been a more important time to for every person to realise the power they have to make a positive difference to the lives of those around them.

 

“As Australia’s largest crisis line, 13 11 14 acts like a barometer to the mental wellbeing of our nation.  With a record number of calls yesterday, it is clear that tomorrow will be the most important World Suicide Prevention Day to date.  We must remind the community that people are really struggling with bushfire recovery and the challenge of Covid-19.  There has never been a more important time to reach out to those who you think may be struggling and let them know you care. Your actions can save a life.” He said.

 

World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 is themed “Working together to prevent suicide” and Mr Brogden acknowledged the important work of Lifeline’s 4,500 Crisis Supporters, most of whom are volunteers who have been working to ensure no Australian has to face their darkest moments alone.

 

“There are over 10,000 volunteers working with Lifeline to ensure Australians are kept safe.  This year, we have asked a lot from our volunteers, we are very grateful to all who have worked additional shifts and continually put up their hand to ensure we can be here to support every Australian who needs us.  Our volunteers are key players in suicide prevention, and we want to recognise their efforts this World Suicide Prevention Day.  Our Crisis Supporters are the reason we can be here for Australians who need us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 13 11 14.” Said Mr Brogden.

 

While most people know Lifeline as the 13 11 14 suicide prevention crisis line, the organisation is made up of a network of 40 centres operating in 60 communities across the nation also offering on the ground services to help communities become suicide safe through training, counselling and suicide prevention support groups.

 

“Along with our crisis support services, we aim to make communities suicide safe by equipping people with the skills to understand how to recognise the signs, respond appropriately and refer to support services. This year, we want every person in Australia to realise that they can be a key player in suicide prevention.” Mr Brogden said.

 

Globally, last year, there were 800,000 lives lost to suicide, that’s a life lost every 40 seconds.  In Australia’s last reporting period (2018), there were 3,046 lives lost to suicide.  With every life lost, there are 135 people – families, friends, colleagues, fellow students, who are left devastated.  There are many more who struggle with their own mental wellbeing.

 

This year, Lifeline expects its 4,500 Crisis Supporters will talk or chat to well over 1 million people through its phone and webchat services.  The phone service alone is currently receiving up to 90,000 calls a month; that’s a person reaching out every 30 seconds. April and August were both record months for the 57-year old service and yesterday was its busiest day.

 

Mr Brogden also encouraged any person in Australia who is struggling to make a connection with someone they trust, or reach out to Lifeline:

 

“These are challenging times, it is ok not to be feeling ok.  Connecting with others is key.  If you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable.  Either phone us  to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days), or chat to us online at www.lifeline.org.au (7pm – midnight, 7 nights).”

 

Lifeline’s World Suicide Prevention Day events: Out of the Shadows walks go virtual in a show of support for those bereaved by suicide and those who are struggling with their own mental health.

 

Every year, Lifeline centres across the nation bring their communities together to observe World Suicide Prevention Day through Lifeline’s Out of the Shadows events.   Local community walks traditionally take place at sunrise and create a safe place of acceptance to mourn loved ones lost to suicide and reduce stigma by bringing suicide out of the shadows and into the light.  However, this year with physical distancing restrictions created by Covid-19, Out of the Shadows will be providing opportunities for connection virtually.

 

This year, Lifeline encourages Australians to join a virtual walk at sunrise. To register a walk or join your local community virtually, visit: www.outoftheshadows.org.au

 

Australians are also encouraged to visit a virtual reflective garden to plant a flower and leave a message of remembrance or support, to show those who are struggling that they are not alone.  

 

Mr Brogden said coronavirus restrictions have heightened the need to demonstrate support and provide a safe space for those impacted by suicide to mourn and reflect:

 

“Losing a loved one to suicide is different to any other loss, the stigma surrounding suicide is still very real.  Often those who are grieving or experiencing suicidal ideation can experience tremendous marginalisation.  The COVID-19 restrictions are exacerbating isolation, there are many left to grieve or struggle with their thoughts alone. Through Out of the Shadows, we aim to ensure that people feel connected and aware of the support and compassion that is around them.” He said.

 

“This year, we are calling on every Australian to make this garden bloom and help Lifeline send the clearest signal yet to those who are struggling, that they are not alone.”

 

To visit the virtual garden, go to: www.outoftheshadows.org.au

 

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation.  The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

 

To donate to Lifeline, visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate  To arrange an interview, please contact:   media@lifeline.org.au or phone: 0408 407 376

This World Suicide Prevention Day, Lifeline will call on Australians to send the clearest signal yet to those who are struggling, that they are not alone.


Annual Out of the Shadows events go virtual in a show of support for those bereaved by suicide and those who are struggling with their own mental health.

Every year, Lifeline centres across the nation bring their communities together to observe World Suicide Prevention Day through Lifeline’s Out of the Shadows events. Local community walks traditionally take place at sunrise and create a safe place of acceptance to mourn loved ones lost to suicide and reduce stigma by bringing suicide out of the shadows and into the light. However, this year with physical distancing restrictions created by Covid-19, Out of the Shadows will be providing opportunities for connection virtually.


This year, Lifeline plans to send a powerful message of hope by encouraging Australians to visit a virtual reflective garden to plant a flower and leave a message of remembrance or support, to show those who are struggling that they are not alone.


Lifeline Australia’s Chairman, John Brogden said coronavirus restrictions have heightened the need to demonstrate support and provide a safe space for those impacted by suicide to mourn and reflect:


“Losing a loved one to suicide is different to any other loss, the stigma surrounding suicide is still very real. Often those who are grieving or experiencing suicidal ideation can experience tremendous marginalisation. The COVID-19 restrictions are exacerbating isolation, there are many left to grieve or struggle with their thoughts alone. Through Out of the Shadows, we aim to ensure that people feel connected and aware of the support and compassion that is around them.” He said.


In 2018, the last reporting period, there were 3,046 lives lost to suicide in Australia, with each life lost leaving families, friends, colleagues and communities devastated. Mr Brogden implored Australians to visit the garden and plant a message of hope:


“There are over 10 Million Australians who have been directly impacted by the loss of a family member, relative, friend, colleague or fellow student. There are many more who are struggling with their own mental wellbeing and it is particularly difficult with the uncertainty and change in routine that has been brought about by COVID. The things we used to keep busy with, can often no longer be done, many of our opportunities for connecting with others have been removed.


So this year, we are calling on every Australian to make this garden bloom and help Lifeline send the clearest signal yet to those who are struggling, that they are not alone.”


To visit the virtual garden, go to: www.outoftheshadows.org.au


Members of the community are also invited to safely hold private reflective sunrise walks to observe Out of the Shadows on World Suicide Prevention Day. Walks must be held in accordance with COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions in each participant’s state. To join the virtual community of walkers via Zoom, participants are encouraged to register their walk on the Out of the Shadows website at: www.outoftheshadows.org.au
“All through the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been encouraging the community to connect with those they think may be doing it tough. We all have the power to make a positive difference to the lives of others, so we really do encourage people to invite someone you know to take a walk at sunrise and remember the many Australians we have lost to suicide and those they have left behind. Together, we can remove the stigma
around mental health, we can make people feel connected and supported and we can work towards an Australia free of suicide.” Said Mr Brogden.

Mr Brogden also encouraged any person in Australia who is struggling to make a connection with someone they trust, or reach out to Lifeline: “These are challenging times, it is ok not to be feeling ok. Connecting with others is key. If you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable. Either phone us to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days), or chat to us online at www.lifeline.org.au (7pm – midnight, 7 nights).”

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation. The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating
an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

To visit the Out of the Shadows virtual garden, go to: www.outoftheshadows.org.au

To donate to Lifeline, visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate

To arrange an interview, please contact: media@lifeline.org.au or phone: 0408 407 376

27 August 2020


Lifeline Australia is encouraged by the Victorian Coroner’s findings the rate of suicide has not increased due to COVID-19.


John Brogden, Chairman of Australia’s largest suicide prevention service, Lifeline Australia, said he is encouraged by data revealed today by the Coroner’s Court of Victoria, that found the number of suicides in the state this year is consistent with the same period for 2019.


Mr Brogden said:

“These are important numbers. They show that whilst demand for mental health services have increased massively this year, suicides have not increased.
Today’s report shows that while enduring the effects of bushfires and COVID-19, Australian’s are taking steps to ensure their mental wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around them.
The work that is being done by the suicide prevention sector is above and beyond anything we’ve seen in Australia’s history. Today’s data release by the Victorian State Coroner, Judge John Cain, shows that the additional supports that are being provided by Federal and State Governments and the suicide prevention sector are working to save lives.”


Mr Brogden said that Australians are taking action to seek help:


“Lifeline is now receiving close to 90,000 calls a month, that’s a call every 30 seconds. With the Victorian lock-down, we experienced a 30% increase in calls originating from Victoria. Australian’s are recognising the importance of connecting and talking through the challenges they’re facing. Today’s data shows the additional supports Lifeline is providing are working to prevent suicide.


“While the data is encouraging news for those who have been working round-the-clock to ensure no Australian has to face their darkest moments alone, I acknowledge that these results offer cold comfort for those whose loved ones are represented by the numbers released to today. Our thoughts are very much with you.” Said Mr Brogden.


“Lifeline’s vision is for an Australia that is free of suicide and we will continue through COVID-19 and beyond to work tirelessly to keep Australians safe.” He continued.


Mr Brogden renewed his earlier calls to the community to continue to reach out to those who may be living alone and to those who may find the physical distancing and self-isolation a struggle.


“We know that connection is key. Please keep finding creative ways to connect with each and if you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable. Either phone us to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days) or chat to us online at www.lifeline.org.au (7pm – midnight, 7 nights). Mr Brogden said.


Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation. The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.


To donate to Lifeline, visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate To arrange an interview, please contact: media@lifeline.org.au or phone: 0408 407 376

9 July 2020

Lifeline is there for Victorians 24/7 as calls from Victoria spike 22% in new lockdown

Lifeline Australia Chairman, John Brogden today made a plea to Victorians to reach out to Lifeline to speak to a Crisis Supporter as the pressures of the second COVID-19 lockdown effect people’s mental health.

John Brogden, Chairman of Lifeline Australia said:

 “My message to Victorians is please don’t suffer in silence.”

Lifeline, Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, has received a 22% increase in calls originating from Victoria since Sunday. This is a 22% increase from Victorians this week than at the same time last year:

“Australians have already been turning to Lifeline in record numbers since the COVID-19 outbreak began in March.  Each month since March we have been receiving almost 90,000 calls, that’s a call every 30 seconds. 

“So, this 22% spike in Victoria is a significant sign that the new lockdown measures are taking a toll on the mental health of Victorians.”

 Mr Brogden said it’s critical that people understand they can access services like Lifeline if and when they need to.

 “We want people to know they can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 at any time of the day or night or text us between 6pm and midnight every night on 0477 13 11 14. 

 Lifeline also has a text service available every night for people who are unable to talk.

 If you can’t call us, you can text us on 0477 13 11 14 between 6pm and midnight every night.

 Mr Brogden said Lifeline has been working with the Victorian Department of Health to ensure the community is aware that Lifeline’s services are available to them 24 hours a day.

 “Our thoughts are with the people of Victoria. Lockdown means many of the important opportunities for people to connect with each other and do things they enjoy are being stopped. For someone who is already struggling, this can be a huge blow. 

 The lockdown will also affect people who may have never experienced mental health issues before in their lives.

We are asking people to look out for those who may struggle through isolation, especially if they live on their own.  If you can’t knock on their door, be imaginative in how you can connect- give someone a call, write them an email, put a note under their door.  By reaching out to someone who may be struggling and letting them know you care, you can send a really powerful message of hope.” Said Mr Brogden.

Lifeline service details:

Telephone: 13 11 14 (24 hours)

Lifeline Text: 0477 13 11 14 (6pm – midnight)

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation.  The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

To arrange an interview, please contact:   media@lifeline.org.au or phone: 0408 407 376 to donate:lifeline.org.au

30 June 2020

nib supports Lifeline Australia to meet increased demand for mental health support

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on the mental health and wellbeing of Australians, with Lifeline Australia receiving 3,000 calls for support every day. That’s one call, every 30 seconds.

In response, nib and nib foundation have teamed up to provide Lifeline Australia with $500,000 in funding which will allow the 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention service to expand their crisis text-based service, Lifeline Text, to meet the increase in demand for support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lifeline Australia Chairman, John Brogden, said this partnership will ensure Lifeline are able to offer a complete safety net of crisis support, whether that be through their phone, chat or text services to Australians, wherever they may be.

“We are extremely grateful to nib and nib foundation, their support comes at a crucial time for Lifeline. Calls from Australians in distress have increased by 25% since the COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions began,” Mr Brogden said.

“Our independent evaluation of Lifeline Text showed that 42% of people who reached out through text, wouldn’t have sought help in any other way. So it is vitally important at this time, that we ensure Lifeline Text is as accessible as possible.

“We want every Australian to have the option to access our services if they need it, through the avenue that’s most comfortable for them. This funding will help us to do this, by expanding our Lifeline Text to offer 10,000 additional crisis interventions on top of our other crisis support services.

“We’ll also be training and managing 60 new volunteer crisis supporters so that Australians can rest assured that someone will always be there on the other end of the line to listen and support them through what can be some very dark times,” Mr Brogden said.

Funding constraints have previously seen Lifeline Australia limit their number of requests for support through Lifeline Text to 80 crisis interventions per day, leaving a significant proportion of people, particularly those living in rural and remote communities who don’t have adequate access to landlines or internet connection, vulnerable.

Increasingly, these barriers are often experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and with suicide rates almost double than non-Indigenous people, access to mental health support services through a range of avenues is crucial.

“It’s pretty grim to hear that something so many of us take for granted, like good phone service and internet connection, could be a big barrier to others seeking support and possibly saving lives,” Mr Brogden said.

nib Managing Director, Mark Fitzgibbon said the health insurer was proud to support the expansion of Lifeline Text to help ensure a full suite of crisis support services are available to those in need.

“We know that COVID-19 is having a monumental impact on the mental health of our community placing additional pressure on our healthcare system as well as support services,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“As a health insurer, we believe its paramount to support critical services like Lifeline, so that every Australian who’s doing it a little tough at the moment can seek the help they need in the way that best suits them,” he added.

nib has also donated $30,000 in television advertising air time to Lifeline, so they’re able to share their messages with more Australians who may need help, during prime-time television. 

The funding support is part of nib and nib foundation’s $1 million commitment to ensuring communities across Australia and New Zealand are supported during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes, $150,000 in funding provided to Lifeline Aotearoa in New Zealand to enable an extra 2,300 hours of crisis support, which is estimated to be an additional requirement to suit the demand over the coming months.  

For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services, Lifeline Australia is available to help. Phone 13 11 14 (24/7) or text 0477 13 11 14 (6:00pm – Midnight (AEST)). More information at lifeline.org.au

 

10 June 2021

NRMA INSURANCE AND RACV PROVIDE $2M FUNDING BOOST FOR LIFELINE SUICIDE PREVENTION SERVICES IN VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES

LIFELINE’S 13 11 14 LINE NOW RECEIVING A CALL FOR HELP EVERY 30 SECONDS FROM AUSSIES IN NEED AS A RESULT OF BUSHFIRES AND COVID-19

NRMA Insurance and RACV have joined forces to provide $2 million in funding to Lifeline Australia to help enable critical tele-health suicide prevention services for vulnerable communities affected by the summer bushfires and COVID-19.

The joint NRMA Insurance and RACV funding will enable Lifeline Australia to:

  • Provide more than 8,000 tele-health counselling sessions for people in communities affected by drought, bushfire, flood and COVID-19.
  • Provide e-learning Accidental Counsellor training for up to 3,000 people in communities across Australia, with a focus on those who have regular contact with other community members. This training will equip people with the skills to recognise the signs of mental distress or ill health and the ability to respond effectively and refer people to the most appropriate services.
  • Distribute thousands of tool-kits and resources within affected regions so that people are aware of the support that is available to them.

Lifeline Australia Chief Executive Officer, Colin Seery said it was critical to ensure tele-health services are available to Australians in disaster-affected regions.

“COVID-19 restrictions have meant the ability to provide tele-health services is more important than ever. We are extremely grateful for this support from NRMA Insurance and RACV which will enable us to pivot our on-the-ground services to tele-health delivery so our counsellors can continue to connect with their communities and offer vital mental health support.

“The funding from NRMA Insurance and RACV means Lifeline will be able to continue to work with people who have relied on our financial and psychological counselling services to support them through bushfires, floods and now COVID-19, and extend those essential services to help thousands more people who are struggling in those communities,” Mr Seery said.

Fifty percent of Lifeline’s centres are based in rural, regional and remote communities of Australia, many of which have recently been devastated by drought, fire and flood. 

NRMA Insurance CEO Mark Milliner said the $2 million funding support forms part of NRMA Insurance’s ongoing program of work to support initiatives that help make communities safer, more connected, and resilient.

“We can already see the deep affect COVID-19 is having on our communities and as an insurer, we know that the personal and emotional impact of a crisis can last for years. That’s why we are proud to partner with RACV to donate $2 million to help Lifeline expand its important work.

“The donation will be used to extend Lifeline’s national tele-health service and help create local networks of support by providing tailored community resilience training in areas impacted by the bushfires and COVID-19. We look forward to working closely with Lifeline in the months and years ahead,” Mr Milliner said.

RACV Managing Director and CEO, Neil Taylor, said “RACV looks forward to partnering with Lifeline and NRMA Insurance to provide support to vulnerable communities across Victoria impacted by the devastating summer bushfires and COVID-19”.

“Today’s announcement will enable Lifeline’s tele-health service to broaden its reach into the regions and respond to the need of individuals and communities who have been impacted the most. We hope this new partnership will help make a meaningful difference to those at risk of negative mental health outcomes.”

Mr Seery said the support from NRMA Insurance and RACV will go a long way to reducing the long-term mental health impacts of disasters, which will save lives.

“Research has shown that communities which have experienced consecutive trauma are likely to experience longer-term psychological impacts. The recent devastation caused by bushfire, drought and flood has left many people vulnerable to negative mental health outcomes in this time of COVID-19 and physical distancing measures. 

“It’s essential we increase the level of support we can provide these communities. The earlier we can intervene when a person is struggling, the greater the chance we have of reducing the devastating risk of suicide or other long-term mental health impacts,” Mr Seery said.

“As always, it is important that we take the opportunity to remind people of the importance of looking out for and connecting with each other. If you, or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed or in need of support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 at any time of the day or night.”

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line, text and chat services within 40 centres around the nation. The service expects to respond to well over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

To donate to Lifeline, visit: https://fundraise.lifeline.org.au/emergency-appeal

13 May 2020

Lifeline welcomes the Federal Government’s National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan

Today, John Brogden, Lifeline Australia Chairman, welcomed the Australian Government’s National Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan and the Australian Government’s commitment of a further $48.1M to their Mental Health response.

Lifeline Australia Chairman, John Brogden said:

“Today’s National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan will put a consistent framework for mental health supports in place across the nation. This is a necessary plan designed to remove barriers to accessing support, this plan will save lives.”

Change and uncertainty at the best of times can be difficult. It is essential that every person in the community has access to support as soon as they need it. This is a well-rounded plan that will enable instant response through data capture, universal access to mental health supports that respond to the needs of local communities and consistent messaging to the nation on the importance of seeking help and where that help is available.”

Since the beginning of this crisis, Lifeline has been working hard to support Australian’s suffering from the mental health effects of the isolation and uncertainty of COVID-19.

“Over the course of the outbreak, Lifeline has consistently communicated the importance of connection, because it is through connecting with others that we find a sense of hope.

Australians have responded with record numbers of calls to the 13 11 14 crisis line with contacts surging to almost 90,000 a month, that means Lifeline is receiving a call every 30 seconds. Over the next few months, we want to continue to ensure people are aware that Lifeline is here for them and we expect to increase these numbers and save many more lives.” Said Mr Brogden

Lifeline responded to the Australian Mental Health Commissions request for submissions in the development of the COVID-19 Mental Health Plan, listing the following priorities that, once implemented, will save lives:

Uplifting capacity for universal access to social connectivity and support.

  1. Consistent, universally embedded public messaging to meet the specific challenges associated with caronavirus
  2. Supporting continuity in the delivery of diverse suicide prevention services in community
  3. Ensuring peer advice and support is embedded into new approaches to service delivery

Lifeline expects that mental illness related to COVID-19 will far outlast the physical threats of the disease itself.

“The COVID-19 crisis has been difficult for all of us, but for some it has created extreme challenges.  While we are hopeful with the lifting of the restrictions, it is important to remain vigilant about our mental health.  Change can be difficult, and it is OK not to feel OK.

Our services remain open and our Crisis Supporters are ready to listen. If you are feeling overwhelmed, in crisis or emotionally distressed, it is essential that you speak to someone you trust, your GP or you contact Lifeline.  Please call 13 11 14 at any time of the day or night.” Said Mr Brogden

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation.  The service expects to respond to well over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

12 April 2020

Victorian Government contributes $2.1M to ensure Lifeline continues essential service delivery throughout COVID-19

Today, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, announced the Victorian Government would contribute $2.1 Million to help Lifeline respond to the increased needs of the community during the COVID-19 crisis.

John Brogden, Lifeline Australia Chairman, today thanked Premier Daniel Andrews and Mental Health Minister Martin Foley for the critical injection of funding for the stretched suicide prevention services:

“We are very grateful to Premier Andrews and Mental Health Minister Martin Foley for prioritising the mental health needs of the Victorian community.  This funding comes at a critical time for Lifeline. 

Australians are turning to Lifeline for support more than at any other time in our 57-year history.  This March, we received almost 90,000 calls from people in crisis, that’s a call every 30 seconds,” said Mr Brogden.

We are experiencing the highest number of calls in the history of Lifeline.

“In the last three weeks, the number of callers who contacted Lifeline and wanted to talk about COVID-19 has jumped from 23% to over 50%.

And the longer this lasts the more calls we will receive. We expect calls to continue to rise as the impact of business closures, social isolation, health concerns and financial stress continue to take a toll on the metal health of Australians.”  Mr Brogden continued.

The injection of funds from the Victorian Government is particularly welcome now.  While COVID-19 has increased demand for the service, it has simultaneously shut off the opportunity for Lifeline to raise revenue through its traditional channels.

“Last week, Lifeline Australia launched an emergency appeal to try to fill the gap left by COVID 19 due to the closure of our 250 retail stores and the cancellation of mental health community training programs, book fairs, fundraising dinners and other events. 

The funding from the Victorian Government will make a significant contribution to ensuring our Victorian Centres remain viable. The support from the Victorian Government will assist Lifeline Crisis Supporters to be available to respond to calls, chats and text messages. 

It will also assist the Lifeline centres across Victoria to provide on the ground support in rural, regional and metropolitan communities

However, we still have a hole in Lifeline’s funding that has been created by COVID-19.  So, we are calling on any Australians who can, to please get behind Lifeline and give what you can, so Lifeline can continue to be here to answer the call of those who need us.” Mr Brogden said.

The support received from the community will be used to support Lifeline’s 40 centres around the nation to continue to provide suicide prevention services direct to the community.

“We have 40 centres, half of which are in rural and remote locations across the nation.  They provide important mental health education, face to face counselling and therapeutic groups for people at-risk, or bereaved, by suicide.  Our centres are directly supporting thousands of people in the community every day.  It is crucial that we keep these services operating,” said Mr Brogden.

Mr Brogden renewed his earlier calls to the community to reach out to those who may be living alone and to those who may find the physical distancing and self-isolation a struggle.

“We know that human  connection is key.  People should never underestimate the power they have to make a positive difference.  Please find creative ways to use technology to work around the barriers to connection and reach out to those you feel may be struggling.”

“If you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable.  Either phone us  to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days), Text us on 0477 13 11 14 (6pm – midnight, 7 nights) or chat to us online at www.lifeline.org.au (7pm – midnight, 7 nights).” Mr Brogden said.

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation.  The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

To donate to Lifeline, visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate

9 June 2020

COVID-19 IMPACT ACTIVATES FIRST NATIONAL EMERGENCY APPEAL IN LIFELINE’S 57 YEAR HISTORY

COVID-19 PANDEMIC SEES AUSTRALIANS REACH OUT TO LIFELINE IN RECORD NUMBERS  

13 11 14 NOW RECEIVING A CALL FOR HELP EVERY 30 SECONDS

This week, Lifeline, Australia’s leading suicide prevention service will launch a national emergency appeal in response to the increased pressure it is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign titled: ‘You’ve Got 30 Seconds To Save A Life’ comes at a time when Australians have been turning to Lifeline in record numbers as they grapple with COVID-19 on the back of the summer’s bushfire devastation. 

In March, Lifeline answered almost 90,000 calls for help, an increase of 25% over the same time last year - equating to one call every 30 seconds. As the service braces for continued increases throughout this time of uncertainty, Lifeline is calling for donations from those who can, to help save lives.

Lifeline Australia Chairman, John Brogden, has welcomed recent Federal and NSW Government funding measures to support mental health organisations including Lifeline, but acknowledges more funding is required to fill the gap caused by COVID-19 and its impact on traditional fundraising.

“Lifeline is here to help all Australians.  We are appealing to all Australians to help Lifeline. 

Help Lifeline help Australians in crisis.

COVID-19 has reduced the fundraising revenue for our Centres across the country.  With the closure of our 250 retail stores and the cancellation of mental health community training programs, book fairs, fundraising dinners and other events.  We need to raise $5 Million to fill the gap left by COVID 19,” he said.

“At the same time we are seeing our revenue drop, the pressure on our services is growing. We are experiencing the highest ever calls in our 57-year history. And the longer the lockdown lasts, the more people will become anxious and lonely.” Mr Brogden continued.

Funds raised through the campaign will support Lifeline’s 40 centres around the nation to continue to provide crisis support through 13 11 14 as well as suicide prevention services direct to the community.

“We have 40 centres, half of which are in rural and remote locations across the nation.  They provide important mental health education, face to face counselling and therapeutic groups for people at-risk, or bereaved, by suicide.  Our centres are directly supporting thousands of people in the community every day.  It is crucial that we keep these services operating,” said Mr Brogden.

“Public donations will help us to be there for everyone who needs us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” He said.

Lifeline’s national fundraising campaign has an ambitious target to raise $5 Million to ensure that no centre has to close its doors. Mr Brogden said, the need for the campaign couldn’t be more urgent.

In the last three weeks, the number of callers who contacted Lifeline and wanted to talk about COVID-19 has jumped from 23% to over 50%.

We expect this to continue to rise as the impact of business closures, social isolation, health concerns and financial stress continue to take a toll on Australians’ mental health.  We must ensure our service is here for Australians through COVID-19 and beyond.”  Said Mr Brogden.

Mr Brogden also sent an important reminder to the community to reach out to those who may be living alone and to those who may find the physical distancing and self-isolation a struggle.

“Every person can make a positive difference.  While social distances measures mean you might not be able to connect with loved ones in person, connection virtually or over the phone is key. If you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable. Either phone us to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days), Text us on 0477 13 11 14 (6pm – midnight, 7 nights) or chat to us online at www.lifeline.org.au (7pm – midnight, 7 nights).” Mr Brogden said.

To help Australians who may be feeling worried, anxious, or overwhelmed by the COVID-19 outbreak, Lifeline has compiled the following mental health and wellbeing tips and strategies:

  1. Manage your exposure to media coverage – as this can increase feelings of fear and anxiety. Be mindful of sources of information and ensure you are accessing good quality and accurate information.

 

  1. Follow a “calm yet cautious” approach – do your best to remain calm and be mindful not to contribute to the widespread panic that can hinder efforts to positively manage the outbreak. Ensure you are following directives issued by the government, medical advice and observe good hygiene habits.

 

  1. Show compassion and kindness to one another – these times of fear, isolation (both physical and social) and uncertainty are when it is most important that we strengthen our sense of community by connecting with and supporting each other. Remind ourselves that we can manage this much better together in solidarity, and that COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate – it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, nationality or ethnicity.

 

  1. Actively manage your wellbeing by maintaining routines where possible, connect with family and friends (even if not in person), staying physically active, eating nutritious foods and seeking additional support by contacting Lifeline or further professional support as required.  

 

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation. The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

 

To donate to Lifeline, visit: https://fundraise.lifeline.org.au/emergency-appeal

Australian Government provides additional funding to increase access to Lifeline crisis support services throughout COVID-19 outbreak

Today, Prime Minister Morrison, announced the Australian Government would commit to additional funding for Lifeline to ensure that no Australian has to face their darkest moments alone during the COVID-19 outbreak.

John Brogden, Lifeline Australia Chairman, today acknowledged the Federal Government for prioritising suicide prevention and crisis support services with this critical injection of funds:

“This funding is crucial to ensuring the safety of Australians as they grapple with COVID-19 and self-isolation.  We are very grateful to Prime Minister Morrison and the Australian Government for prioritising suicide prevention, crisis support and the mental health needs of our community.  This will save lives.”

Mr Brogden said Lifeline will utilise the funding in this exceptional circumstance, to ease unemployment by increasing Lifeline’s Crisis Support capacity to meet increased demand for the service during the outbreak.

“Isolation measures that have been brought in to preserve our physical health throughout COVID-19 are necessary and tough, but they will have a significant impact on the mental health of many.  These same measures will see many of people stood down from their positions, which will increase the need for our service.

By working in partnership with the Australian Government, Lifeline can close the mental health service accessibility gap created by COVID-19.  By offering temporary employment opportunities, Lifeline can simultaneously increase our capacity to respond to Australians in crisis and ease the burden of unemployment.” He said. 

Mr Brogden said new recruit Crisis Supporters will receive Lifeline Crisis Supporter training to maintain the quality of service delivery and non-judgemental opportunities for connection for which Lifeline is renowned. 

Lifeline’s 13 11 14 telephone service has already received an increase in calls due to the virus, with a call now coming in every 30 seconds.

“Just in the last week, the number of callers who contacted Lifeline and wanted to talk about concerns surrounding COVID-19 has increased from 23% to 39%. We expect this to continue to rise as Australians lose opportunities to connect with each other due to the effects of COVID-19.” Said Mr Brogden.

Over the summer, Lifeline experienced a sustained increase of 10 – 15% in contacts due to bushfire.  The service is now bracing for an additional 25% increase in contacts over the coming weeks and months as Australians grapple with the effects of COVID-19.

“This summer proved that when Australian’s are overwhelmed, they turn to Lifeline for support.  Lifeline is committed to ensuring that we can be available to offer support to any person who needs us at any time they need it.” Said Mr Brogden. 

Mr Brogden said the support from the Australian Government will also assist the organisation to ensure Crisis Supporters are available to respond to calls, chats and text messages remotely as well as the continuation of critical services for local communities that its 40 centres across the nation operate in.

Mr Brogden renewed his earlier calls to the community to reach out to those who may be living alone and to those who may find the physical distancing and self-isolation a struggle.

“We know that connection is key.  If you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable.  Either phone us  to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days), Text us on 0477 13 11 14 (6pm – midnight, 7 nights) or chat to us online at www.lifeline.org.au (7pm – midnight, 7 nights).” Mr Brogden said.

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation.  The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

To donate to Lifeline, visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate

NSW Government contributes $6M to ensure Lifeline continues essential service delivery throughout COVID-19

Today, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor, announced the NSW Government would contribute an additional $6 Million to help ensure Lifeline can respond to the increased needs of the community throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

John Brogden, Lifeline Australia Chairman, today thanked the NSW Government for the critical injection of funding for the stretched suicide prevention services:

“This funding comes at a crucial time for Lifeline and the people of NSW.  We are very grateful to the Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor for prioritising the mental health needs of our community. 

It is absolutely essential that we ensure our services have the resources they require to respond effectively to Australians who need us. This contribution from the Berejiklian Government will save lives.”

Mr Brogden said Lifeline’s 13 11 14 telephone service has already received an increase in calls due to the virus, with a call coming in every 30 seconds.

“Just in the last week, the number of callers who contacted Lifeline and wanted to talk about concerns surrounding COVID-19 has increased from 23% to 39%. We expect this to continue to rise as Australians grapple with the effects of COVID-19.” Said Mr Brogden.

Over the summer, Lifeline experienced a sustained increase of 10 – 15% in contacts due to bushfire.  The service is now bracing for an additional 25% increase in contacts over the coming weeks and months as Australians grapple with the effects of COVID-19.

“This summer proved that when Australian’s are overwhelmed, they turn to Lifeline for support, and we are committed to ensuring that we can be available to any person who needs us.” Said Mr Brogden. 

We know this is a difficult time for many and it’s very important that we work with all levels of Government to ensure that our services, wherever possible, are even more accessible than usual.” He continued.

Mr Brogden said the support from NSW Government will assist the organisation to ensure Crisis Supporters are available to respond to calls, chats and text messages remotely.  It will also assist the Lifeline centres in NSW to provide on the ground support within rural, regional and metropolitan communities.

Mr Brogden renewed his earlier calls to the community to reach out to those who may be living alone and to those who may find the physical distancing and self-isolation a struggle.

“We know that connection is key.  People should never underestimate the power they have to make a positive difference.  Please find creative ways to use technology to work around the barriers to connection and reach out to those you feel may be struggling.”

“If you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable.  Either phone us  to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days), Text us on 0477 13 11 14 (6pm – midnight, 7 nights) or chat to us online at www.lifeline.org.au (7pm – midnight, 7 nights).” Mr Brogden said.

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation.  The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

To donate to Lifeline, visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate

Lifeline will continue answering calls through COVID-19

Today, John Brogden, Lifeline Australia Chairman, has announced Australia’s leading suicide prevention service provider will continue to answer calls throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Lifeline Australia Chairman, John Brogden said:

“Today we want to reassure Australians that no matter what happens with COVID-19, if the government calls for a lock down in any or all of Australia, Lifeline is prepared and we are committed to being available to any person who needs us through the 13 11 14 phoneline, text and online services.”

“This summer Lifeline received a sustained 10-15% increase in calls as a result of the bushfires. Now with COVID-19 and the resulting enforced closures, financial stress, social isolation and concern about health, our calls are only expected to increase.”

“This week alone 23% of our callers to Lifeline discussed novel coronavirus.”

Lifeline is putting into place new measures to ensure the 13 11 14 phone line and text service will remain open if Australia is forced into lock down.

Mr Brogden also called on Australians to look out for each other.

“The current social isolation policy means many of the important opportunities for people to connect with each other and do things they enjoy are being stopped. For someone who is already struggling, this can be a huge blow. 

“We are asking people to look out for those who may struggle through isolation, especially if they live on their own.  If you can’t knock on their door, be imaginative in how you can connect- give someone a call, write them an email, put a note under their door, sing under their window.  By reaching out to someone who may be struggling and letting them know you care, you can send a really powerful message of hope.”

“If mandatory isolation is imposed, we know there will be many Australians who will struggle with isolation and heightened anxiety. It will be more important than ever that Lifeline can be here for any Australian who is feeling overwhelmed and needs someone to talk to.  We want to reassure every Australian that we will still be here for you, at any time you need us on 13 11 14.” Mr Brogden continued.

Lifeline is now receiving up to 3000 calls a day - that’s a call from an Australian in crisis every 30 seconds.

“This summer, our communities have faced some extraordinary challenges, drought, flood, bushfires and now COVID-19, all on top of the usual stress people experience. What this summer has shown is that when feeling overwhelmed, Australians turn to Lifeline for support and we are committed to being here for them. We want people to know that through COVID-19 and social isolation, Lifeline is here for you.  Call us on 13 11 14 at any time.” Said Mr Brogden.

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation.  The service expects to respond to over one million requests for support this year, creating an average of 120 safety plans to keep a person experiencing suicidal ideation safe every day.

To donate to Lifeline, visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate 

13 February 2020

LIFELINE TO LAUNCH NEW NATIONAL 13 HELP (13 43 57) BUSHFIRE RECOVERY LINE MONDAY

On Monday 17 February Lifeline will launch its new Australia-wide 13 HELP (13 43 57) a dedicated bushfire recovery phoneline to provide support for people affected by bushfires, Lifeline Chairman John Brogden said.

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons will join Lifeline Chairman John Brogden at a  luncheon in Sydney to raise funds for Lifeline’s Bushfire response which will include the continuation of the work of crisis support teams on the ground in bushfire affected communities and the provision of the 13 HELP (13 43 57) phoneline.

At the lunch Commissioner Fitzsimmons will be interviewed by renowned journalist Andrew Denton. Bega MP Andrew Constance will also speak.

The 24 hours a day/seven days a week 13 HELP (13 43 57) phoneline has been developed in response to increased demand for Lifeline’s service.  Since December last year, Lifeline has recorded a 10% increase in calls to its 13 11 14 service, with call volume spiking at over 14% on some days. 

John Brogden said the unprecedented increase warranted a tailored response so that the care and service referral provided is specific to the effects of the bushfire and the needs of those impacted.

“From the calls that have come in, and from our teams on the ground, it’s clear to us that people need to talk through their experience, they also need simple and clear information about what is available to them in their local community when they need it.” Said Mr Brogden.

“Our Crisis Supporters are highly skilled at listening and offering support to people who are struggling.  The message we want to get to people affected by the fires, no matter what stage of recovery their community is in, is that it is important that you talk about your experience.  Lifeline is here for you at whatever time you need us, we are here 24 hours a day, ready to listen on our

13 HELP Bushfire Recovery Line, please call 13 43 57.” Continued Mr Brogden.

“This service will run for as long as people need us. The crisis may be over but the enormity of the recovery is only beginning to hit. Many people won’t experience trauma for months, even years to come. We will be there for them 24/7.” Mr Brogden said.

Lifeline’s 13 HELP Bushfire Response Line has been made possible with $1.5 Million in funding from the Federal Government.  To date, Lifeline has received pledges totalling almost $600,000 from supporters such as Woolworths, Santos, Count Plus, Payce Foundation and Fantastic Furniture. Mr Brogden has an ambitious target to raise $1 Million at the luncheon in Sydney on Monday to cover additional costs for the phoneline and to continue to expand Lifeline’s response on the ground. 

“We have four Lifeline centres in areas that have been affected by fires. Tthey are working tirelessly to respond to their local communities. We’ve also moved teams from other centres around the nation into affected areas to provide additional support.  We look forward to extending and

expanding the reach of our teams on the ground with the funds raised on Monday.” Said Mr Brogden.

Lifeline will work closely with the National Bushfire Recovery Agency to ensure consistency of messaging and accuracy of information across all areas of Lifeline bushfire service delivery.

To donate to Lifeline, please visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate