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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:

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 liflifeline.org.aueline.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