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Lifeline inundated with crisis calls over the Xmas period

Lifeline inundated with crisis calls over the Xmas period

Lifeline Aotearoa receive a deluge of calls over the Xmas break

During the 11-day period from 24 December to 4 January, calls to Lifeline Aotearoa’s crisis lines increased by 16% from its usual volumes.

“We received one call every five minutes from across New Zealand during the Christmas period,” said Ms Lanovski, Lifeline’s Senior Clinical Manager.

“There are a couple of observations to make here. First, there are large numbers of New Zealanders experiencing significant levels of distress in their lives. Over holidays they may feel more acutely distressed while at the same time having less access to supports due to regular services being less available, said Ms Lanovski.

“From the sheer number of high risk calls to Lifeline it seems clear that we need to do more in New Zealand to bolster the resources of the suicide prevention sector,” says Md Lanovski.

Lifeline Aotearoa has experienced counsellors at the end of the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, none of which are funded via the Government. Being able to recruit and train counsellors takes considerable fundraising.

“There are over 120 volunteers working for Lifeline Aotearoa. Their contribution to New Zealand communities is invaluable, but to Lifeline Aotearoa each volunteer costs approximately $1,200 in training. This cost is solely to provide the volunteers with the relevant education and preparation so that they can maintain the outstanding level of care and professionalism Lifeline staff are known for”, said Ms Lanovski.

Everyone on the team hopes that progress would be made over 2016 to secure Government funding so that Lifeline can continue its essential work.

ENDS

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