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News : Lifeline Central West's Marathon to Answer Crisis Calls
Bathurst, NSW, Australia, Sept 9, 2016 -- A crisis can occur at any moment and having people ready and willing to help can make all the difference.
To mark R U OK? day and World Suicide Prevention Day, which both occur this week, Lifeline Central West’s volunteer crisis supporters have stepped up to the mark.
The Bathurst call centre, which takes crisis calls from across Australia usually operates from 6am-10pm, but from Thursday until Saturday this week volunteers will man the phones 24-hours-a-day.
Lifeline Central West crisis support services manager Stephanie Robinson said if calls for help are made outside these times they are all automatically directed to the Sydney call centre.
But, volunteer crisis supporters at the three Central West call centres were only too happy to be rostered on extra shifts across the three-day marathon.
"Crisis supporters in Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo are bringing in swags and we’re feeding them. - Stephanie Robinson"
Ms Robsinson said she expects the post-Father’s Day spike in calls to continue over the next week.
Family occasions such as this can leave some people feeling depressed, lonely and sometimes suicidal.
"When there’s a certain day like that [Father’s Day] or World Suicide Prevention Day it gets people to reach out and think about calling," Ms Robinson said.
Within the first 24-hours of Lifeline’s marathon, crisis supporters had already answered an additional 292 calls for help.
Calls were from people who were lonely, depressed or isolated.
Some callers were experiencing infidelity and some were on the verge of suicide.
"At one point we had eight people [volunteers] in here last night [Thursday]," Ms Robinson said.
The Lifeline centre is one of 35 dotted across Australia that take around 2600 calls every single day.
The equivalent of almost one million in a year.
Lifeline offers crisis support and suicide prevention services, as well as support with financial problems, loneliness and isolation, loss and grief and domestic and family violence.
For more information on becoming a Lifeline volunteer crisis supporter call 1300 798 258.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2016