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Australians are facing
crises like never before

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“When something’s been a struggle for so long, you just don’t have much left in the tank.”

What would you do if someone called you in distress while driving home from a shift at their second job? Kate*, a Crisis Supporter at Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland, takes calls like this every day – and she couldn’t be more grateful to help.

“Most of our callers are calling because they’re experiencing emotional distress, whether that’s because of relationship issues, a financial issue or they’re struggling with their mental health,” she says. “They’re calling up to be heard and to receive some comfort and support.”

And that’s exactly what Jo* needed when she called Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland and spoke to Kate.

Read Jo’s story

Harder than ever to make ends meet

Jo is a 40-year-old single mother to her 13-year-old son, Callum*. She has two jobs, but despite her commitment to work, she still finds it difficult to afford groceries and other essentials due to the continued rising cost of living.

With no financial contribution from Callum’s father, Jo and her teenage son live in a small apartment in Sydney’s southwest*. She’s determined to provide a stable and nurturing environment for Callum but faces a constant battle to make ends meet on her limited income. She struggles with the stresses of being a single mother and doesn’t have a lot of time or energy to invest in connecting with friends.

While Jo was proactive in seeking support from different organisations for food and vouchers, Kate says her situation was lonely and isolating. Struggling with guilt and stress, Jo reached out to Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland for emotional support in October last year.

“Initially, I could hear the exhaustion,” says Kate. “That was what shined through the most. When something’s been a struggle for so long, you just don’t have much left in the tank.”

Kate says Jo detailed how strictly she must budget – often down to the dollar – and that her only food is whatever Callum doesn’t finish at dinner.

“She was saying that meat and eggs are a luxury, and she can’t afford to buy them anymore. Obviously, she was very grateful for the staples she got from the food banks, but it was a lot of pasta and rice.”

Seeking connection

It’s easy to think Lifeline is only for people experiencing suicidal ideation or self-harm, but Kate says a lot of people are simply seeking connection and comfort.

“We’re a suicide prevention service, but we’re also a crisis support service,” she says.

“Jo called after her shift for her second job. [She] was tired and deflated, but it was nice for her just to be able to express her feelings, and also have her feelings and her situation acknowledged and validated.”

“A lot of people don’t have great support networks. Or they might be going through something where they don’t feel comfortable disclosing their struggles to friends and family.

“Jo had some great practical supports, [but] she didn’t have a lot of emotional support. She didn’t have a lot of friends or family, or a partner to talk to and unload about her day.”

And that’s why Kate says Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland is so critical.

“The beautiful thing about Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland is that we’ve created this confidential, anonymous, non-judgemental space where people can just share what’s burdening them and that gives people a lot of relief.”

Finding a way forward, together

Kate is grateful to donors because each generous gift means there are more crisis supporters to answer calls from people like Jo and give them the care they deserve.

“More money means we can run more [crisis supporter] training courses, have shorter wait times and have more coverage through the call centre,” she says. “Being a crisis supporter is a very rewarding role. It’s a real privilege to be able to listen to people’s stories and be someone who can provide support. But it’s also tainted with feelings of sadness when you’re hearing about people’s pain and struggles.”

Thankfully, Jo – and thousands more Australians like her – know they can find comfort, support and connection by reaching out to Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland. And it’s all because of generous donors, just like you.

*Names and some details changed to protect privacy

As the cost-of-living crisis continues, ordinary Australians are forced into situations they never thought they’d face.

Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland received 37,841 calls last year. Most were from people like Jo experiencing emotional distress.

3 in 10 Australians know someone who has attempted or died by suicide in the past 12 months.

1 in 5 Australians have experienced self harm or suicidal thoughts.

48.5 per cent of Australians are struggling with rising living costs.1

Loneliness and social isolation increase the risk of depression, anxiety and suicide.2

Nine lives are lost to suicide every day in Australia. Give now to support people in crisis

Partner with us today to give hope to Australians facing heartache and hardship

No one should have to face their darkest times alone. Here are five ways your gift today will change the lives of people in crisis.

Answer a call for help

Enable one volunteer Crisis Supporter to answer a lifesaving call.

Strengthen communities to fight suicide

Equip communities across Australia to prevent suicide through Wesley LifeForce training.

Offer comfort and connection

Educate ten people to recognise when someone is at risk of suicide through suicide prevention training.

Support 24/7

Keep our call centres open for people in crisis 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Train a volunteer Crisis Supporter

Provide professional training to one volunteer Crisis Supporter, empowering them to support people in desperate need.

You can help ensure no call for help goes unanswered

Learn more about our crisis support and suicide prevention services

Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland

From humble beginnings in Darlinghurst to a worldwide phenomenon, Lifeline has served the nation for over 60 years. As one of Australia’s busiest Lifeline centres, Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland answers an average of 45,000 calls every year. Our 314 Crisis Supporters are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people in need.


Learn more

Become a volunteer Crisis Supporter

Do you want to prevent suicide and give back to your community? Volunteer Crisis Supporters are the heart of Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland. As a fully accredited volunteer Crisis Supporter, you’ll respond to people in crisis on the phone, so no one faces their darkest times alone. You’ll listen to people in their time of need, without judgement, help them identify their next steps and encourage them to take positive action.


Register your interest 

Join a Wesley LifeForce Network

Launched in 1995, Wesley LifeForce partners with local communities to raise awareness of suicide through prevention, intervention and postvention services, as well as equip individuals to recognise and respond to people at risk of suicide. We support over 130 networks across metropolitan, regional, rural and remote Australia.


Join a network

Book suicide prevention training

Wesley LifeForce delivers community, workplace and healthcare suicide prevention training to educate and empower Australians to support someone at risk of suicide. With a focus on basic engagement skills and challenging attitudes towards suicide. Each course is regularly reviewed by our national advisory board. Empower your community or team against suicide today.


Book a workshop

*Name, photo and some details changed to protect privacy
1Budget Direct Cost of Living Survey and statistics 2023

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