Record calls received at vital Lifeline

Lifeline Australia has recorded the highest volume of calls in the organisation’s 58-year history, after 3345 callers sought support on Monday last week.

The organisation’s South East branch is reminding locals it is there for them if they need it.

“Lockdowns and restrictions have had an impact on everyone in the community in every state in the country,” Lifeline South East chief executive Leah Griffin told The SE Voice.

“For those who were already struggling, feelings of loneliness and anxiety can be devastating.

“Australians have faced some extraordinary challenges over the last few years but whether through drought, flood, bushfires or the pandemic Lifeline has been there and is committed to continuing to help people through these difficult periods.”

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 131 114 telephone line within 40 centres, including one in Mount Gambier.

Ms Griffin (pictured below) said Lifeline South East was currently seeking additional volunteer crisis supporters to add to its team.

“Our volunteers are working hard, just as they are around the country to support anyone at any time of the day or night,” Ms Griffin said.

“When people in NSW or Victoria need support, we’re happy to be here for them if we need to be.

“The fact that so many people feel they can reach out to Lifeline is a good thing, we are here to listen.”

Lifeline Australia chairman John Brogden said the number of calls showed Australians were not suffering in silence through the isolation, anxiety and uncertainty of the pandemic.

“This has been a tough period for all Australians and it has pushed many of those already struggling into crisis – but we’re glad they know help is out there,” Mr Brogden said.

“The fact that so many Australians are reaching out – many for the first time – and seeking help is a good thing. Our volunteers are working harder than ever and giving people the support they need when they need it.”

Lifeline expects high demand for services to continue through this current period and beyond, because these kinds of events leave a long trail of trauma.

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