Lifeline Adelaide has launched a new fundraising campaign and put out the call for more volunteers, as it marks World Mental Health Day on Thursday, October 10.
A service provided by Uniting Communities for more than 50 years, Lifeline Adelaide is part of a national network of Lifeline centres and is one of the busiest centres in Australia, with volunteer crisis support workers answering more than 46,000 calls and online chats each year.
Uniting Communities Chief Executive, Simon Schrapel says the service relies heavily on donations from supporters to keep the 24-hour service running, 365 days a year.
“The tragic reality is that every year hundreds of South Australian families are devastated by the impacts when a loved one dies by suicide. In 2018, 212 men and women in South Australia took their own lives and we know that even one life lost to suicide is one too many,” he says.
“Lifeline Adelaide plays a huge role in helping many people in their darkest hours and we know the service saves lives. So, it seems appropriate that on World Mental Health Day, we ask for the community’s support as we are in urgent need of new volunteers and funds to train them.”
Cecil Camilleri has been a Lifeline Adelaide volunteer for the past five years and says it is one of the most fulfilling things he has ever done.
“I have had my own challenges with my mental health over the years and I know just how dark it can be, when you’re down. We are there to listen, to be a non-judgemental and understanding voice on the other end of a call or online chat. Some people are in a situation where it is a matter of life and death,” he says.
“It can be confronting, but I’m really proud of the work we do, and I know firsthand that it makes a real difference.”
To become an accredited Crisis Supporter, volunteers need to complete specialist training, which costs Lifeline Adelaide almost $3,000 per person. Simon Schrapel says the organisation is hoping to raise at least $30,000 to support the training of 10 new and much needed volunteers in Adelaide.
Volunteers receive extensive training before they’re fully qualified – more than 170 hours for every person -with around 1200 new volunteers trained across Australia each year to become Crisis Supporters.
The recently appointed CEO of Lifeline Australia, Colin Seery, will be making his first visit to Lifeline Adelaide on Thursday to meet some of Lifeline Adelaide’s dedicated volunteers.
“Around the country we have more than 4,000 dedicated Crisis Supporters answering almost a million calls for help every year. We know that it is human connection that helps keep people safe. This World Mental Health Day, we want everyone to hear the message that if you are in a dark place, please talk to someone you trust, seek help from a GP or call Lifeline on 13 11 14. We are here for you,” he said.
“I applaud the work of the South Australian team and really hope more people will answer the call to consider being a volunteer, or alternatively help us fund the training of others.”
People wanting to donate to Lifeline Adelaide, or who are interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer, can find more details at www.lifelineadelaide.org.
Lifeline supports people experiencing thoughts of suicide or caring for someone experiencing thoughts of suicide at any time via phone: 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days a week); and online at www.lifeline.org.au (6.30pm – 11.30pm [Central Standard Time] every night.)
Lifeline Adelaide is a service of Uniting Communities.
For more information
Chief Executive, Uniting Communities
Cecil Camilleri – Lifeline Adelaide volunteer
Leigh McClusky, McCo Group
0411 711 780 / firstname.lastname@example.org