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A new seat to support people in crisis and prevent suicide

The countdown to Christmas is well and truly on! An exciting time for some but it’s important to take time this festive period to think of and support those who may be struggling in our community.

Here at Lifeline Canberra we are very proud to add a new seat in the Crisis Support Centre which will help boost our Capital’s ability to help people in need, and build resilient and suicide-safe communities.

Earlier this year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics delivered devastating news that more Australians took their own lives in 2017 than the year before. The ACT recorded one of the most notable increases with figures showing a 107 per cent increase in suicide related deaths in the ACT.

“Tragically, we lose eight Australians to suicide every day. Locally, we lose one Canberran to suicide each week,” Lifeline Canberra CEO, Carrie Leeson said.

“A person in crisis calls Lifeline every 32 seconds. Heartbreakingly, around 15 per cent of callers hang up before they are connected with a crisis supporter.

“This additional seat in our local crisis support centre takes us from six seats to seven, giving us the ability to schedule more crisis support on the national Lifeline network and support an additional 5-to-6 thousand Australians in crisis every year.

“To help change even more lives for the better, we also need the support of our local community.

“At Lifeline Canberra, we have a team of 300 local crisis support volunteers who give their time selflessly to fill shifts and answer calls in our crisis support centre. Our volunteers are the life-blood of our organisation and I continue to be humbled by their dedication to supporting those in need and their want to leave situations better then they found them.

“While our 1000-people-strong crisis support team may sound large, the truth is that we need more people in our team to help us fill more seats, in more shifts and answer more calls.

““We are calling on members of our wonderful Canberra community to consider applying to become a volunteer Lifeline crisis supporter and take-up ‘the toughest job you will ever love’.”

Carrie-Anne Leeson

“If you have ever wanted to help someone in need, we want you – we need you.

“Our volunteers receive world-leading training, giving them the information and confidence they need to answer the phone for the first time. The skills you learn in our training are also vital skills for life and our volunteers continue to express how the training exceeds their expectations.

“As a crisis support volunteer myself, I can honestly say that at every shift you will feel thankful that you were there to pick up the phone – you can help change a life.

Find out more about becoming a Telephone Crisis Support worker.

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