FlexiGroup New Zealand has become the second financial services provider in New Zealand to respond to Lifeline’s funding shortage, donating $72,000 to the suicide prevention helpline.
Sponsoring ‘The 72 Club’ alongside Simplicity who also donated $72,000, FlexiGroup NZ CEO, Chris Lamers says mental health and wellbeing is a critical social issue that everyone including New Zealand business has a role to play in.
“We have a network of 300 employees and connect with half a million Kiwis including consumers, retailers, small businesses and schools, and we know mental health issues don’t discriminate – it can affect anyone. Supporting Lifeline and the lifesaving work that it does, represents our commitment to our people, our customers and New Zealand communities.
“With 10,000 calls and 3,800 texts received every month from Kiwis in need, it’s clear that the mental health problem in New Zealand isn’t going away, and Lifeline is a critical resource that Kiwis are reaching out to for suicide crisis, counselling and community support. We need to make sure that these people reaching out are being heard.
“As an employer we understand the importance of mental health and we have been focusing on proactively talking about it within our organisation, providing access to resources and 24/7 support, so our people know that help is always available if they need it and that it’s OK to reach out for help. Our support of Lifeline at this important time has given us the opportunity to extend our support beyond our organisation and help people in need throughout New Zealand.”
FlexiGroup New Zealand’s donation will help to address the one in four Lifeline calls that go unanswered due to a funding shortage.
Glenda Schnell, Executive Director at Lifeline says: “We are very pleased to work with FlexiGroup New Zealand, especially knowing that they have such a strong commitment for the wellness of people; both their staff and the wider community.“
Simplicity, a nonprofit KiwiSaver fund, announced today a $72,000 donation, their largest ever, to Lifeline Aotearoa in support of The 72 Club. Simplicity’s donation will help fund 0800 Lifeline, which receives more than 10,000 calls a month from Kiwis in need. As the inaugural sponsor of The 72 Club, they’re asking other Kiwi businesses, and especially those in the finance sector, to give too.
Today we’ve launched our largest fundraising campaign in our 50-year history and The 72 Club’s first single, ‘Piece of My Heart’ is out now!
Prompted by the 27 Club, a group of young musicians whose unresolved struggles resulted in their tragic deaths at just 27 years old, we’ve created our own club – The 72 Club. Well-known artists including Suzanne Lynch and Larry Morris have recorded ‘Piece of My Heart’, a song made famous by Janis Joplin.
Every year Lifeline saves lives through listening, however to answer every call we need funds as 0800 LIFELINE is not a government funded service.
The 72 Club is a club that anyone can join and by doing so you’re saying that you plan on having a long and happy life, and you want to help other Kiwis do the same.We’re asking Kiwis to donate, download the song and purchase merchandise to help Kiwis live a life well lived.
Find a way to support Lifeline, and together we can help Kiwis believe that life is worth living.
The provisional suicide figures for the 2017-2018 period released earlier today show that 668 New Zealanders have lost their lives to suicide. Lifeline Executive Director, Glenda Schnell is very concerned about this rise as it indicates that there are far too many New Zealanders who are getting to a place where they are feeling desperate, alone and hopeless. “Sadly, we have seen the suicide numbers increase yet again. The loss of a loved one to suicide is one of the most painful and distressing things to face and it is heart breaking to hear that more people are having to go through this” says Schnell.
Glenda is heartened by the government’s show of commitment in the mental health inquiry but also states that “suicide and suicidal thinking does not only affect people who are struggling with mental health issues. It can affect anyone”. Lifeline receives calls from people who are contemplating suicide, and most of them are not connected with mental health services “upgrading the mental health system will not solve this problem on its own. Suicide is everyone’s business, yes having well-resourced mental health services is part of the solution but it goes much wider than that. I think back to when AIDS was on the rise and we thought that was unsolvable in this country, but resources were poured in to research and prevention and this is what is needed now for suicide”. Lifeline has hope for a future where no person in New Zealand is left alone when they are in distress but this will take commitment from everyone in the community and investment by Government.
Glenda stressed that to decrease barriers to people asking for help, the stigma of suicide and suicidal thinking must be removed “one in five people battle with suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives, life can deal some harsh blows and it is normal to think that it would be easier for others if you disappeared. But this could not be further away from the truth”. Often when people are highly distressed they are unable to see the options available to them and this can lead to feeling hopeless and trapped. Getting support from loved ones or specialised services in these difficult moments can help people to find a way out of the darkness. “We want people of Aotearoa to know that those who call Lifeline can trust that their concerns, heartache or troubles will not be judged, that they will be heard and can find hope” says Schnell.
Anyone who thinks they, or someone they know may be thinking about suicide or anyone struggling to deal with the loss of a loved one through suicide can call 0800 LIFELINE (543 354), or text HELP (4357).
Over the last 9 weeks, David Seymour and Amelia McGregor danced their hearts out on Dancing with the Stars with Kidsline as their chosen charity.
David began his association with Kidsline as a volunteer buddy many years ago and has been a supporter ever since – helping with street collections and choosing Kidsline for the Parnell Waiters Race two years in a row.
Every week David and Amelia were on the show was a bonus for Kidsline with David donating his appearance fee to Kidsline, wearing their Kidsline tees and popping in for a visit to some Buddies during their shift on the helpline.
Thanks David and Amelia, you showed how aroha, determination and resilience can take you far!
This week, representatives from Lifeline Australia, Taiwan, Korea, Shanghai, Malaysia, South Africa and Aotearoa met in Auckland prior to the IASP conference in the Bay of Islands.
Lifeline International has developed a strategic plan for a two year period and there is a lot of work to be done of the next year to revise the mission, vision and values, the constitution and to register Lifeline International as a legal entity, which will assist with its long term goals of collective leverage internationally.
The discussions were valuable, with good spirit and collective passion.
It was a highlight for the Lifeline Aotearoa representatives to meet others doing the same work, with the same approach around the world.
We will provide support with links to training plans and there will be a chance to meet and train with other Lifeline fundraisers, invitations to pre-marathon events, after race reception, giveaways and a framed photo and certificate.
And just in case you need more motivation… when you’ve raised $400 we will give you a free “We’ve got your back, mate” Lifeline t-shirt and when you’ve raised $1,000 we will refund your entry fee to the Auckland Marathon.
For more information contact Debbie Greenfield by email to email@example.com.