Lifeline 24/7 as calls from Victoria spike

Plea made to Victorians to reach out to Lifeline to speak to a crisis supporter as the pressures of the second COVID-19 lockdown affect people’s mental health.

The plea comes from Lifeline Australia Chairman John Brogden, whose message to Victorians is they need not suffer in silence.

Lifeline, Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, has received a 22 per cent increase in calls originating from Victoria since Sunday compared to 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,” he said.

Mr Brogden says it’s critical that people understand they can access services like Lifeline if and when they require them.

“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.

Lifeline has been working with the Victorian Department of Health to ensure the community is aware that Lifeline’s services are available.

“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,” Mr Brogden said.

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

“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,” Mr Brogden said.

Lifeline service details: Telephone: 13 11 14 (24 hours); Text: 0477 13 11 14 (6pm – midnight). Donations can be made to: lifeline.org.au.

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