It’s OK to call Lifeline
Yesterday someone told me about a 27 year old man who committed suicide six weeks after he got married. Earlier this year, one of my friends did the same thing. Suicide is a very real threat in our society and Lifeline is one resource that’s available to people who are considering it.
I have been learning to become a Crisis Supporter with Lifeline for the past three weekends and I’ve got to tell you, I’m impressed.
The training is thorough, nationally accredited and consistent.
I had always imagined that Lifeline phone counsellors were a bunch of old biddies with too much time on their hands or do-gooder-y social work types.
Neither of these scenarios is accurate.
Lifeline Crisis Supporters are highly trained, intelligent and absolutely dedicated volunteers with a range of skills and resources to support people through troubled times. They save people’s lives.
The way it works is this: the calls come in from all over Australia and are queued in the phone system. The person who answers the phone has no idea where the callers are located so confidentiality and anonymity are assured. The counsellor is trained to listen in such a way that they can help callers come up with viable solutions to their own problems. They don’t preach. There’s no religious agenda. They are 100% unbiased, non-judgemental and empathic.
This service is free to everyone so I encourage you to share this information with everyone you know. Maybe they don’t understand how Lifeline works. Maybe they will be able to tell someone who is secretly suicidal. You can help by making sure everyone knows about this stuff.
The number is 13 11 14. You don’t have to be suicidal to call. You can call if you’re feeling confused, upset, hurt, angry or threatened for any reason. Lifeline counsellors are trained to help you cope.
If you’re not really sure what depression feels like, this Hyperbole and a Half post describes it pretty accurately. I love this blog for how hilariously honest and insightful this woman is.