Lifeline to raise funds for new crisis care projects

Will Parker, online crisis chat supporter, with Fiona Kalaf.
Will Parker, online crisis chat supporter, with Fiona Kalaf.

The late the Rev Alan Walker founded Lifeline WA in 1963 when he took a call from a distressed man who later took his own life.

Determined not to let isolation and a lack of support cause more deaths, Sir Alan launched a 24-hour crisis support line.

Lifeline WA chief executive Fiona Kalaf said it was important to recognise the efforts of volunteers everywhere who help people in desperate situations.

‘Last year Lifeline answered 541,000 calls on its 24-7 crisis line, which is the highest number in its history and we expect this number to grow in 2013 and beyond,’ she said.

‘In WA alone, our calls answered surged by 25 per cent, with an estimated 32 per cent growth in demand for this year.’

As part of the celebrations, Lifeline has launched a new online crisis support chat as part of its constant evolution to cater for people’s needs.

‘We need to be reaching people in a way that is most comfortable to them,’ Ms Kalaf said. ‘For young people in emotional crisis, who sent on average 100 texts a day, it’s unlikely they’ll decide to pick up the phone and talk to someone.’

Lifeline WA will host a cocktail party on Thursday, May 9 at Mosmans restaurant.

The proceeds of the event will go towards funding of new projects, such as the online crisis chat and the establishment of research into FIFO workers’ mental health.

Visit www.lifelinewa .org.au. If you need help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.