Event: 2013 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: ACT
Award level: Gold
Award category: Innovative Use of Technology
Abstract: One of Lifeline’s strategic foundations is to ‘provide crisis support services 24/7 that help change the focus in people’s lives from crisis to opportunity’. Additionally, a strategic priority is to explore our ability to use technology as a means of crisis support. Lifeline commenced a trial of the Crisis Support chat Service on 12 May 2011 and launched a permanent service on 8 May 2012. The service has already proved to be a great success. Due to the rise of social media and reliance for some on chat, the service has attracted people who would prefer not to use the telephone. The service casts a wider net over Australia to provide help for more people in crisis. It is a confidential, non-judgemental, one-on-one service and is available from 8pm to midnight AEST, 7 days a week.
Description of Facility/Organisation: Lifeline was founded in 1963 by the late Reverend Dr.Sir Alan Walker, when he took a call from a distressed man who later took his own life. Determined not to let isolation and lack of support be the cause of more deaths, Sir Alan launched a not-for-profit 24-hour crisis support line. This service (13 11 14) now answers around 1,250 calls each day, with around 50 calls from people at high risk of suicide. Lifeline’s services are now made possible through the efforts of around 1,000 staff and 11,000 volunteers, operating from over 60 locations nationwide. Lifeline provides access to crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services. Services and resources are now provided through phone, face-to-face, and the new online crisis Support Chat service. Lifeline also provides national services and campaigns that promote emotional well being encourage help seeking and address suicide prevention and awareness.