Coolbellup resident online to help Lifeline WA


Coolbellup’s Cam Jakson, a member of Lifeline WA’s online crisis support team.
Coolbellup’s Cam Jakson, a member of Lifeline WA’s online crisis support team.

AT its peak, Lifeline will field a call for help every 32 seconds.

Cam Jakson is a crisis support worker there to help.

The Coolbellup resident has spent the last two-and-a-half years with Lifeline’s online team, chatting to those seeking help over the internet.

MORE: Coolbellup: resident hopes to grow fresh food on road verge

It is a unique position and not only because he works from 9pm to 1.30 in the morning.

“When you’re talking to people on the phone, you can pick up a lot by the way people speak and their tone of voice,” he said.

“Online it’s a bit different.

You look for things like the tempo in which they type, or the language they use.”

Mr Jakson said the online chat forum was a service used by many, particularly young people.

He said he chats to more than 30 people each week and no call for help is ever the same.

“We’re here to make sure the person feels heard,” he said.

“The only way to do that is to read and understand.

“What you send back needs to show understanding and compassion.

“It’s a really satisfying role.”

To ensure Lifeline is able to continue helping people, it has launched the Lights for Lifeline campaign in a bid to raise important funding.

Mr Jakson said support was vital to ensure the service was not stretched too thin, and calls for help could be answered.

“If the money isn’t there, people could potentially go unheard,” he said.

If you require help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or visit www.lifeline.org.au.

For information on the Lights for Lifeline appeal or to donate to the cause, visit www.lights.org.au.