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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lifeline has launched its free text support service – HELP (4357) as part of its suicide prevention strategy to increase access to support for people in distress.
The service opened at 10am on Wednesday 21st March and will be open to anyone who wants to talk about what is worrying them.
HELP (4357) is easy to remember and reflects the intent to be there 24/7 when people need help.
To use the service, a message is sent to HELP (4357) and one of Lifeline’s qualified counsellors or well-trained volunteers will respond. The service will be free of charge.
In response to the many requests we have had and to give people a choice about how they wish to engage with us, Lifeline has invested in the development of additional support channels and staff. Texting is a daily form of communication for many people and an accessible way to reach out for help.
We expect the service will be used by a different group of people to those who connect by phone call and potentially reflect younger people’s preference to communicate via technology. The text service will also remove barriers to getting help for people who find it really difficult to pick up the phone and call.
Glenda Schnell, Lifeline’s Executive Director says, “Lifeline has been a call away for people in distress for over 50 years and we’re so pleased to be able to add to this service and respond to the growing need to communicate via technology”.
Currently, Lifeline receives over 10,000 calls a month to its free helpline and an average of 6 calls a day from people at high risk of suicide. With no government funding, Spark Foundation has been a major sponsor of this work and fundamental in making this project happen.
GM Corporate Relations for Spark, Andrew Pirie, says, “this service is a wonderful example of how technology can be a powerful tool for good, offering a way for people in distress to access help right when they need it. Spark is proud to do our bit to support Lifeline in their vital work.”
On the 10th of March, 2018, Michael (Mikey) Brenndorfer will be attempting an ‘Everesting’ on his bicycle, by riding up and down Maungawhau/Mt Eden until he’s cycled up the equivalent height of Mt Everest (8,848 verticle metres). He estimates this will take approximately 18 hours.
As part of this challenge he’s chosen to fundraising for Lifeline and has set up a Givealittle page, aiming to raise $10,000 for the cause.
Mikey has done a fair bit of fundraising for different charities over the years but there is something entirely different about his Everesting for Lifeline fundraiser – this fundraising challenge is deeply personal. Mikey works as a youth health nurse with young people who feel life isn’t worth living. He has lost too many friends to ever want to quantify their deaths. He says, “if even one person is supported through their crisis by Lifeline because of this fundraiser, that is not only one life saved, it’s an entire community of family and friends around that person who will be saved the heart shattering pain I’ve felt too many times. That is what makes this fundraiser so much more personal.”
The Undercover Fashion Show run by NZ Police staff was a fantastic event, showcasing the talents staff have outside of their roles within the force and the heart they have for the communities they serve by raising funds to support the work we do at Lifeline.
Thank you so much to all of the organisers and all involved for making this happen!
It is concerning to hear recent reports of increased calls to the police for mental health issues and agrees that it should not be the role of police to support those in distress, only those at imminent risk of suicide.
When people call who have suicidal thoughts, unless there is imminent risk immediately apparent, Lifeline always works with the individual to assess the risk and develop a plan with them to secure their safety. Mental health crises are often deescalated at least in the short term with an empathetic and caring response.
75% of people calling at risk of suicide do not require emergency services to be involved and in our experience, a police response can sometimes cause more distress when it is not the right service.
Lifeline provides support and counselling nationally for people in distress, this has been our role, providing experience and expertise in this area. Calls to Lifeline are answered by qualified helpline counsellors and well trained and fully supervised volunteers.
We also work with regular callers to develop consistent plans of support and safety, working closely with police and mental health services where required and with permission to provide an approach that works for all parties.
As a 24/7 helpline, we are there to support people in mental health crises and other forms of distress but what we are noticing is that there is a lack of ongoing, accessible support in their communities to prevent these crises from occurring again, and a lack of integration and information sharing between key services.
Lifeline would like to be part of the solution with the police and mental health services however would be reliant on funding to be able to manage the increased load and ensure all people in need of support are able to get their needs met.