This month our featured service is Lifeline, a 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention service for Australians experiencing emotional distress. They provide support and information by phone, text, online chat and through the Lifeline website. With 41 centres, 10,000 volunteers, 3,500 crisis supporters and 1,000 employees, Lifeline provides digital and face to face suicide prevention crisis support service to over 1 million contacts each year.
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services via phone, text, or online chat. They provide compassionate, judgement-free support for people in crisis, giving everyone a chance to speak and be heard, in whatever form suits them best.
When contacting Lifeline, trained crisis supporters will:
- Listen to you
- Provide immediate support
- Check for your safety
- Assist to clarify options and choices available to you
- Provide you with referral information for other services in your local area.
On top of the 24/7 crisis support line, online chat and texting service, Lifeline also provides additional information on the following topics:
- Domestic and family violence
- Natural disasters
- Loneliness and isolation
- Psychotic illness
- Financial stress
- Substance misuse and addiction
- Panic attacks
- Bereaved by suicide
These resources include additional information on ways to cope, how to stay connected, how to help children, and available support options as well as factsheets, resources, and real stories.
Who is Lifeline for?
Lifeline targets all who are suffering from any mental condition. As well as any family members, friends, and relatives who are concerned about the wellbeing of a loved one. Lifeline is available for support anyone across Australia regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
What is the aim of Lifeline
Lifeline aims to ensure no person in Australia has to face their darkest moments alone. They aim to save lives, provide connection and hope, and to educate and support anyone in Australia feeling overwhelmed, experiencing crisis or longs to be heard.
Is there a cost to use Lifeline
Calls from a landline will be charged the cost of a local call. Calls from mobiles are free. Apart from normal internet charges, there is no cost to use Online Crisis Support Chat.
How to access Lifeline
Anyone across Australia experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide can contact Lifeline Support via:
- 24 hour telephone crisis line (13 11 14)
- Online crisis support chat. Available every night at lifeline.org.au/crisischat (available 7 days a week from 7pm-4am AEST/AEDT)
Lifeline’s crisis support line and resources are all online and are available and open 24/7 anytime, anywhere. This includes all online resources, support calls, texts and online chats.
Access Lifeline’s website for informational resources at https://www.lifeline.org.au/
Lifeline Research and Evaluation
Lifeline Research Foundation operates a program of research evaluation of Lifeline Crisis Support Services.
Evaluation studies include: Evaluation of Service Improvements (2011), Evaluation of Pilot Training Program for Telephone Crisis Supporters (2014), Evaluation of Service and Quality Improvements – NSW (2014).
Research studies include: consumer expectations, caller profiles, caller mental health and service needs, caller referrals to eMental Health services for anxiety/depression, intensive suicide support for callers, frequent callers, male callers, Social Return on Investment for Lifeline Crisis Support Chat.
Lifeline’s current research is on caller experiences, reasons for use and the impact of Lifeline.
We recently spoke to Sherry Cameron and Tess Reddel from Lifeline Australia on the Digital Mental Health Musings podcast, taking a look behind the scenes at Lifeline’s services, how it can support health professionals work, it’s role in the mental health care landscape and more. Listen to the full conversation to find out more at https://www.emhprac.org.au/resource/s2e4/