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Nine lives are lost to suicide in Australia every day1. Rising living costs, financial hardship and homelessness are taking their toll on the mental health and wellbeing of thousands of Australians, and more and more people feel there’s no way out of the darkness.
In the last year, calls to Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland have increase by 67 per cent. We urgently need to recruit and train 165 Volunteer Crisis Supporters by June this year to ensure no call for help goes unanswered. But we need your support.
Scott* was in the depths of despair. Once an easy-going family man, financial stress had left him overwhelmed with shame and desperation. By the time he called Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland, he was at risk of taking his own life.
For most of his adult life, Scott had been able to support his immediate family, as well as his extended family. They meant the world to him, and he took pride in keeping on top of things.
But as the cost of living began to rise, Scott noticed he could no longer afford to pay the bills and started using credit cards, quickly sinking deeper and deeper into debt. Eventually, the pressure took its toll and Scott’s mental health declined. His thoughts were consumed with financial worries he felt powerless to overcome.
One evening, Scott simply couldn’t return home to his family. Scared and alone, he felt like a darkness was closing in on him. It was in this moment, Scott made a decision that would save his life – he called Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland.
Speaking to trained Volunteer Crisis Supporter, Jody, Scott revealed the stress he’d been under. His shame had been so great, Scott hadn’t felt comfortable to confide in the people who loved him most, his family.
Guided by Jody, Scott saw his situation from a new perspective. He could see that help was available to him and that night he returned to his family knowing he’d taken the first step towards improving things for the people he loved so dearly.
“People are calling in their darkest, darkest times and we’re often the only place they feel safe to talk about suicidal feelings,” says Jody. “Listening is so powerful it saves lives, and that’s why we must make sure every call is answered.”
For the first time, soaring living costs and personal debt have been formally identified as the top threat to Australian mental health. Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland Volunteer Crisis Supporters answered over 50,000 calls last year. And we know as the cost-of-living crisis deepens, these calls will increase. Sadly, many of these callers will tell us they don’t feel life is worth living.
We urgently need to train more Volunteer Crisis Supporters so no call for help goes unanswered. But we need your support.
As the cost of living increases, calls to Lifeline surge. Having a caring person to talk to in a crisis means no one must face their darkest times alone.
Can answer a life-saving crisis call
Cover the costs associated with one call for help.
Can strengthen communities to fight suicide
Provide vital resources to Wesley Lifeforce Networks working to prevent suicide.
Can improve capacity for care and understanding
Fund suicide prevention training for ten people in Wesley Lifeforce Networks.
Can make sure there’s always help on the line
Keep our call centres open for people in crisis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Please give now to the Autumn Appeal and make sure all Australians have access to 24/7 crisis support.
We’re celebrating 60 years of Lifeline, find out more about the long history of this essential service.
1State of the Nation in Suicide Prevention, Suicide Prevention Australia, September 2022