Find help right now

Bushfire victims turn to Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland for support

20 January 2020 Wesley Mission news

WM 29299 Lifeline Website 810x540Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland, as part of Lifeline Australia, have received an increase in calls over the 2019-20 holiday season due to the national bushfires, which have burnt through over 10 million hectares, destroyed over 2,000 homes and where at least 27 people have died.

“As more and more Australians struggle with the devastation of these bushfires, we face a challenging period ahead and expect a further increase in calls,” said Wesley Mission CEO/Superintendent the Rev Keith V Garner AM.

Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland takes calls from across Australia and volunteer Crisis Supporters have reported an influx in conversations about the bushfire crisis.

“We have experienced callers discussing how horrible the fires are and how the situation is contributing to their distress over the last month. In the last week, we have seen an increase in callers whose primary focus of the call/crisis is directly related to bushfires,” explained Edward, Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland Manager.

Volunteer Crisis Supporters have committed to additional shifts to answer the increase in calls.

“Volunteers are playing a significant role in responding to bushfires across our country, from the dedication and service shown by thousands of local community members of the Rural Fire Service to people answering crisis calls at services like Lifeline. We see the very best of the Australian spirit demonstrated in these challenging conditions,” said Mr Garner.

Lifeline volunteers come from all walks of life, communities and cultures. No previous training or counselling experience is required–just the desire to help others and give back to your community. Each Crisis Supporter undertakes a comprehensive, highly regarded training program that prepares them for this work.

Becoming a volunteer Crisis Supporter is extremely rewarding, making a difference in the lives of many people at a critical time. If you are over 18 and are a person who can listen well and respond warmly to the concerns of others, please apply now to become a Crisis Supporter.

Wesley Mission has provided telephone crisis support since Lifeline was founded in 1963 by then Superintendent, the Rev Sir Alan Walker. Today, Wesley Mission is a leader in suicide prevention programs supporting communities across Australia.