News : Helpers Need Help: Lifeline Puts the Call Out for More Volunteers
Bathurst, NSW, Australia, Sept 18, 2015 -- With the number of calls to Lifeline Central West set to increase to more than 22,000 next year, the organisation is calling for more volunteers to to keep up with demand.
Lifeline Central West chief executive officer Alex Ferguson said calls to the Australia-wide crisis support line were rising steadily as awareness of mental health issues grew.
"Lifeline Australia, which we are a part of, has gone through one million calls already this year, and that’s going to rise by about 15 per cent next year," he said.
"[Lifeline Central West] are going through 15,000 a year, and we’ll take 22,000 next year, or more."
Orange’s call centre is staffed by about 35 telephone counsellors, but Mr Ferguson said more people were needed to help people during their most vulnerable moments.
"We just need more people to take those calls," Mr Ferguson said.
Lifeline will host an extensive telephone counselling training session for about 15 people in Orange on October 17 and 18, which covers not only technical training but also how to talk and listen to callers facing suicide, mental health problems and domestic violence.
Training costs $500, with $150 reimbursed on completion.
Volunteers must be able to commit to 92 hours a year to keep accreditation, should have a level of computer literacy.
Mr Ferguson also encouraged them to have "a bit of life experience under their belt".
To register their interest and find out more, volunteers should call the Bathurst office.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Published: Wednesday, September 23, 2015