It’s been a challenging few years for many Australians. COVID-19, rising living costs and multiple devastating floods have heightened fear and anxiety. People are reaching breaking point and their mental health is suffering.
Wesley Mission’s Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland telephone crisis support service has experienced a nine per cent increase in calls since the start of the pandemic. Sadly, some people tell us they don’t feel life is worth living.
We urgently need your help to train more volunteer crisis supporters so none of these calls for help go unanswered.
How you can help
Your donation to our Spring Appeal will help ensure the next person who calls Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland in distress has immediate support.
$40 – Answer their call for help: Cover the costs associated with one crisis phone call.
$150 – Strengthen communities to fight suicide: Provide vital resources to Wesley Lifeforce Networks working to prevent suicide.
$300 – Give people care and understanding: Fund suicide prevention training for ten people in Wesley Lifeforce Networks.
$500 – 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.
$1,200 – Train a volunteer: Go towards professional training for one telephone crisis support volunteer.
Helping people pushed to the edge
As a volunteer for Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland telephone crisis support service, Tess hears so many stories. This is hers.
I’m extremely lucky to have a supportive and caring network of family and friends. But, sadly, many Australians don’t have anyone they can open up to. They feel isolated and alone. That’s why I became a Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland volunteer.
We’ve all been in positions where we’ve needed help ourselves, and talking to someone can make a big difference. Often people who call us just want to open up about how they’re feeling. But the second call I ever answered was from a young girl who was in the process of ending her life.
Suzi was just 16 when she called Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland. She told me she was out by herself and we chatted for about 15 minutes before I felt something was wrong. Suzi’s voice began to fade, she was incoherent, and her breathing was loud and laboured.
As we’re trained to do, I immediately put a safety plan in place for Suzi, which included alerting emergency services.
Thankfully, they got to her in time and Suzi’s life was saved. I don’t know what would have happened if no-one was there for her to phone, or if her call wasn’t answered.
I feel the same way about a call I took from Mark during the April floods. He phoned me with his last $10 credit while standing in his house, up to his knees in filthy water. He was very, very stressed, telling me he didn’t know how he was going to get his next meal, that he couldn’t do this anymore and wanted to end it right now.
Again, I worked with my colleagues to organise a police welfare check and ensure Mark was safe from suicide.
Sometimes people just need you to hear them, sit with them in their pain and show them understanding. Your support can help ensure every call to Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland is answered.
Your donation can save lives
77 per cent of calls to our Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland telephone crisis support service are suicide related. Having a caring person to talk to in a crisis means no-one has to face their darkest times alone.
Don’t let an unanswered call be the last one someone ever makes
Please give now to the Wesley Mission Spring Appeal and make sure all Australians have access to 24/7 crisis support.