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.
Lifeline welcomes the news of a Mental Health Inquiry to be led by Professor Ron Patterson, the former Health and Disability Commissioner.
The highly qualified team responsible to deliver recommendations to government in October include Dr Barbara Disley, Sir Mason Durie, Dean Rangihun, Dr Jemaima Taitia- Seath and Josiah Tualamali’i.
Lifeline is acutely aware of the impact of a mental health and addition system that is severely stretched. We are confronted with stories of people left with insufficient support on a daily basis through our helpline services.
We will be looking to be involved and add value to the inquiry as it unfolds and are grateful to the government to fulfilling their promise within their first 100 days and look forward to the outcome.
We wish to express our sadness at the loss of the young farmers to suicide over the past few weeks. No one should have to suffer through the death of a loved one by suicide, and when it happens in our rural communities, the ripples are spread far and wide. It hits hard when you hear about young men losing their lives to something as preventable as suicide.
Living and working rurally can be a challenge. Farmers often get to a place where they begin to feel hopeless, isolated and under constant financial pressure within a culture where you are expected to be tough and get on with things. Farmers deal daily with long working hours, extreme weather events, isolation, and the stress of being 24/7 on-farm.The risk can be heightened when access to services is difficult due to long distances and lack of availability.
We need to take care of our farmers who feed our country. Part of that means making sure they have access to support when they need it most. Farmers should know that asking for help is courageous. You will find out that you are not alone – even though you might feel that way sometimes.
Some simple things farmers can do to reduce and manage stress include:
– Take breaks
– Eat well
– Find someone who you trust to talk with, they may surprise you
– Spend time noticing the small things
– Remember to breathe deeply
– Helplines are available 24/7 for any issues, small or large
As we enjoy the feasts provided by our farmers over the festive seasons, we do so in gratitude to our farmers and all of their hard work.
Lifeline has begun working closely this year with Rural Support who are based in the rural community and able to understand the unique issues that farmers have to deal with daily. They can be contacted on 0800 757 254 – RURAL HELP, and as always, Lifeline is available 24/7 on 0800 LIFELINE.
Ports of Auckland Round the Bays is happening on March 4th 2018 and we need to raise $20,000 – enough to help over 900 people.
You can play your part in solving New Zealand’s suicide crisis by joining our fundraising team. Challenge yourself, your family or colleagues to this 8.4km fun run and walk along Auckland’s waterfront.
Everyone who raises over $200 will receive a Lifeline supporter shirt to wear on the day and because we’re an official charity partner for the event, there will be a Lifeline marque at the end to celebrate.