Lifeline calls almost doubled compared to pandemic


Lifeline Aotearoa says calls and texts to its helpline have skyrocketed over the past 18 months, up 88% from 2019.

Photo: Illustration: Lee Smith-Gibbons / The Wireless

The charity provides free and confidential mental health support by trained counselors and volunteers.

Its director of operations, Helena de Fontenay, said one of the reasons for the increase was the change in attitude towards mental health support by text and phone.

“I think the idea of ​​contacting by phone and SMS has become a norm.

“We make doctor’s appointments over the phone, so why not ask for help over the phone? “

The week of September 27 to October 3 is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the demand for services across Aotearoa has been stretched during the Delta outbreak.

Lifeline recorded its highest texting day on record on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day.

De Fontenay said the first week of the current lockdown saw Lifeline receive around 8,500 calls and texts, which rose to 8,700 in the second week, 10,900 in the third week, 11,167 during the week four and 10,713 in week five, when most of New Zealand was in Alert Level 2.

ALSO READ  Construction of multi-million Wgtn homeless hub delayed, but underway

De Fontenay said most calls for service right now are about loneliness and isolation.

“The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is ‘Take Kōrero’s Time’, and that’s exactly what we want people to do when they call Lifeline.

“That’s why we exist for anyone, anytime, anywhere in New Zealand – for someone to kōrero with when there might be no one to talk to.”

Head of Lifeline Helena de Fontenay operations.

Photo: Aotearoa lifeline

To meet the increased needs, Lifeline is seeking urgent donations to train more permanent staff and volunteers.

“Despite the massive increase in demand for our services, Lifeline receives no government funding, relying on donations to provide our essential support,” said de Fontenay.

“We all need to work together to solve New Zealand’s mental health challenges. This includes the support of our frontline counselors and volunteers. At Lifeline, we need funding to train more people, take more calls, and save more lives.

ALSO READ  Thinking of buying the Hero Xtreme 160R Stealth Edition? Here are the pros and cons

“If you’ve ever known someone who has had mental wellness issues, now is the time to give on their behalf because the $ 50 you donate can literally save the life of a member of your community. . “

Where to get help:

Need to talk? Call or text 1737 anytime to speak to a qualified advisor, for any reason.

Lifebuoy: 0800 543 354 or SMS HELP to 4357

Suicide crisis helpline: 0508 828 865/0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who are thinking about suicide or for those who are worried about their family or friends.

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) or SMS 4202

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8 am-12pm), or email [email protected]

What’s new: online chat (3 p.m.-10 p.m.) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 helpline (12 p.m.-10 p.m. weekdays, 3 p.m.-11 p.m. weekends)

Kidsline (5-18 years): 0800 543 754 (24/7)

ALSO READ  Commissioner joins call for extended pensions for elderly people stranded abroad

Rural Support Trust helpline: 0800 787 254

Health line: 0800 611 116

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

PREVIEW: 0800 688 5463 (6 pm-9pm)

If this is an emergency and you feel you or someone else is in danger, call 111.

Sexual violence

New Zealand Police

Support for victims 0800 842 846

Rape crisis 0800 88 33 00

Rape prevention education

Empowerment Confidence

HELP 24/7 Call (Auckland): 09 623 1700, (Wellington): 04 801 6655 – 0

Safe to talk: A 24/7 confidential helpline for survivors, support people and people with harmful sexual behavior: 0800044334.

Mosaic – Tiaki Tangata Peer support for men with trauma and sexual abuse: 0800 94 22 94

Domestic violence

Women’s Refuge: (0800 733 843)

This is not OK (0800 456 450)

Gloss: 0508 744 633

Help for victims: 0800 650 654

HELP 24/7 Call (Auckland): 09 623 1700, (Wellington): 04 801 6655 – 0

The National Network of Family Violence Services NZ has information on agencies specializing in family violence.