In a major boost for mental health support and services in the region, 10 new crisis supporters will be trained and based in Armidale, answering calls to the 13 11 14 Lifeline Crisis Support telephone line.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced a State Government grant of $160,000 for the charity yesterday to help establish a crisis support centre in Armidale, providing thousands across the region with much-needed telephone crisis support services.
“It’s wonderful to see these services returning to our region after a more than decade-long hiatus, complementing Lifeline’s existing face-to-face counselling services and charity shop,” Mr Marshall said.
“We all know the importance of additional mental health support services and trained professionals who can help, in this instance only a phone call away, right around the clock.
“There are many in our region who are doing it very tough and crisis support is critical, no matter the time of day or severity of the issues being faced.
“This injection of funds will ensure people are able to be better supported in their mental health needs.
“The Beardy Street counselling rooms and retail store offers face-to-face counselling and natural disaster services – this new funding will build on it with the training of ten crisis supporters to answer calls – right here in Armidale.”
Lifeline New England North West and Northern NSW General Manager Michael Were said Lifeline was thrilled to receive the funding.
“Lifeline believes that no Australian should face their darkest moment alone, and we receive on average, over 3,000 calls from Australians in crisis every day,” Mr Were said.
“Unfortunately, not every call can be answered as we do not have enough volunteer crisis supporters trained to cope with the demand for Lifeline’s services. Armidale is a key location for the development of our services, particularly in rural NSW.
“It is common for our Crisis Supporters to receive calls where a person is anxious, depressed, worried, in difficult relationships situations, or experiencing suicidal ideation.
“Our Crisis Supporters receive extensive training; the total program takes approximately nine months to complete. We are excited to be establishing a new location for Lifeline Crisis Support in Armidale.
“Lifeline’s support to the New England will now include crisis support, as well as an already established free counselling service (face-to-face and online), as well as community training and a disaster recovery program following the Black Summer Bushfires.
“We are grateful for the support of the NSW Government for their ongoing support of Lifeline and for this particular investment in additional mental health support in this region.”
Expressions of Interest are now open for Lifeline Crisis Supporters. Those interested can go to the Lifeline website to register their interest at www.lifelinedirect.org.au/newengland/get-involved/become-a-crisis-supporter
Top image: Crisis supporter Ali Flynn, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Lifeline New England North West and Northern NSW General Manager Michael Were and Lifeline Crisis Support team Leader Meg Hanlon.