9 June 2017

Jono, Ben and Lifeline Aotearoa ask Kiwis to give up their coffee today

Campaign kicks off urging Kiwis to donate to lifesaving support service to help deal with influx. 

This month entertainers Jono Pryor and Ben Boyce have teamed up with not-for-profit Lifeline Aotearoa, to encourage New Zealanders to ask for help, and to help others by donating the cost of a cup of coffee to the organisation which is receiving an increasing amount of calls annually. 

Lifeline Aotearoa received more than 120,000 calls last year, including more than 1,800 calls from people at high risk of committing suicide. Call numbers are also increasing year-on-year and nearly seven out of 10 calls are from distressed people aged between 21 and 59 years old. 

Despite the increasing demand for its services, Lifeline Aotearoa receives no government funding for its counselling and suicide crisis helplines. The not-for-profit relies purely on public donations to keep phone lines open. 

Late last year the charitable trust Presbyterian Support Northern took dramatic action to help Lifeline Aotearoa through the next 18 months of operational costs but further public support is required for this service to continue far into the future. 

Television and radio presenter Jono Pryor recently lost a close friend, one of the 550 Kiwis who take their own lives, "Having personally experienced the death of one of my best mates was a shock. It hit me hard. I had no idea that he was in need and was thinking about taking his own life. 

"Together we can help prevent suicide if we can normalise asking for help. Asking for help doesn't make you look weak, it takes courage and that's something to be proud of. No one will think less of you for asking for help. Make it a priority to let your friends know you are there for them by pledging your support on social media to donate the cost of a coffee to Lifeline Aotearoa," adds Jono. 

Glenda Schnell, Executive Director of Lifeline Aotearoa, says, "With TV shows such as 10 Reasons Why bringing this conversation into the home, we are encouraging New Zealanders to continue talking about and raising awareness of how we can help prevent suicide and provide mental health support. 

"Each call to Lifeline Aotearoa costs the organisation approximately $22 and with more than 10,000 calls a month, we need support from New Zealand to keep operating and providing a service that hundreds of Kiwis rely on daily."

Ben Boyce says, "All New Zealanders should know they have the support of friends, family and Lifeline Aotearoa. With organisations such as Lifeline Aotearoa on-hand 24/7 there's always the option to give them a call and chat things through."

Kiwis can pledge their support by donating the cost of a coffee to Lifeline Aotearoa by visiting noonethinkslessofyou.co.nz

If you need help dealing with depression or a difficult time in your life, call Lifeline Aotearoa on 0800 543 354 or the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). Both are available 24/7.