Lifeline Aotearoa today launched a “Help Keep Lifeline Alive” campaign as part of its fight for survival.
In June, Lifeline announced it only had enough funds to keep operating its free, 24/7 helplines until June 2017. Lifeline has served Kiwis in crisis for more than 50 years and answers hundreds of thousands of calls each year.
The “Help Keep Lifeline Alive” campaign features some of Lifeline’s extraordinary volunteers.
Lifeline CEO Jo Denvir says the organisation relies on highly-trained volunteers to be at the end of the phone for the 15,000 Kiwis who call Lifeline helplines every month.
“In telling the stories of those who give up their time to be involved in our service, we hope to raise awareness of the critical role we play for Kiwis in crisis.
“We also hope to motivate Kiwis to help us fight for our survival both through sharing our campaign on their social media platforms and of course by donating to us via our website.
“While each of our volunteers have different motivations for their involvement with Lifeline, what is absolutely without doubt is their shared alarm for what will happen in New Zealand if Lifeline helplines go dead in around 300 days’ time.”
Ms Denvir says despite the life changing service Lifeline performs, and the fact its services lessen the burden for other agencies like the Police and Emergency Departments, to respond to Kiwis in crisis, Lifeline does not receive any Government funding for its 24/7 helplines.
“Lifeline helplines answer one call every five minutes, 24 hours a day on issues including loneliness, family violence, financial concerns, homelessness, bullying and relationship issues, mental health and suicidal thoughts.
“Our particular expertise is around suicide. We offer crisis support and safety planning as well as specialist suicide intervention and training.
“This is so important given figures show suicide in New Zealand is the third highest cause of death after heart disease and lung cancer. For the year ended May 2015, 569 people died by suicide or suspected suicide. This is the highest number since records began and double that of the annual road toll,” says Ms Denvir.
Anyone who would like to support Lifeline can make an online donation here or text LIFE to 3181 to donate $3.
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