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News : More Than Half of Calls to Lifeline from People Who Live Alone
Canberra, Australia, May 2, 2016 -- More than half of calls to Lifeline Australia's crisis service were from people who lived alone, highlighting the need for more "connection".
A change in how Lifeline recorded caller information had revealed "just how far feelings of isolation and despair extended in the community", chief executive Pete Shmigel said.
The living arrangements, ages and Indigenous status of callers are now recorded, when that information was offered, he said.
"And while people can be assured their personal data will remain confidential, the recent change has helped us paint a stronger picture of where community need is greatest, and how we can better support that need.
"It's heartbreaking to think of the immense loneliness experienced by so many of our neighbours, but heart-warming that so many are turning to the compassionate support offered by Lifeline's 4000 trained Crisis Supporters," Mr Shmigel said.
Mr Shmigel said that, with the number of suicides in Australia reaching a 10-year-plus high – at eight per day, or one every three hours – Lifeline will continue to evolve in order to tackle the country's national suicide emergency.
"We plan to collect further information, such as whether someone has called after a hospital admission due to a suicide attempt, and then use this to better adapt our services and outreach to do the most good."
Lifeline call information from January 1 to March 31
60 per cent of callers were female
39 per cent male
1 per cent intersex
Family and relationships (24%),
Mental health (18%)
Issues pertaining to "self" (18%)
Under 18 years 1%
18-24 years 8%
25-44 years 35%
45-65 years 42%
Over 65 years 14%
Children only 7%
Flatmate or co-tenant 6%
Spouse of partner 16%
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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More Editorial From Lifeline Australia
About Lifeline Australia:
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, May 4, 2016