Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians with 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. We exist to ensure that no person in Australia has to face their darkest moments alone. Our experience has shown us that it is through connection that we can find hope. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listen, without judgement, to any person in Australia who is feeling overwhelmed, experiencing crisis or longing to be heard.
Lifeline was founded in 1963 by the late Reverend Dr. Sir Alan Walker. Sir Alan had received 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 24-hour crisis support line. This service (13 11 14) now answers over a million calls a year from Australians in emotional distress or crisis.
Lifeline’s services are now made possible through the efforts of 1,000 staff and 10,000 volunteers, operating from 41 Centres nationwide. Services and resources are provided through face-to-face, phone, text and online platforms. We continue to work towards ensuring our services are available to anyone in Australia who needs us at any time, and on any platform they feel most comfortable seeking our support.
Lifeline Centres recruit, train and develop teams of crisis supporters who contribute to the management of the calls, texts and chat messages received by Lifeline. Lifeline’s phone and text services are national, meaning crisis supporters answer calls for help from all over Australia as they come in.
Lifeline is involved in all aspects of suicide prevention and provides services including suicide prevention support, self-help resources and toolkits, mental health information and programs, training and advocacy.
Over Lifeline’s history, demand for assistance has increased as awareness of its services grew. Over the years, demand for these services has continued to grow steadily, with peaks at certain times of the year or in response to major events, such as bushfires and floods, which put extra strain on people’s mental health and added to their distress.
In recent years, however, the combination and severity of the pandemic, bushfires and floods have had a compounding and significant impact. Lifeline has seen more and more people reaching out for help. Thankfully, Lifeline has been able to expand its capacity and connect with more help seekers through calls, texts and online chats.