Lifeline ready to support during the holiday season

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Lifeline is urging all Australians to take time out to plan for how they will cope with challenges over the holiday season and consider whether they – or someone they know – might need additional support.

Lifeline CEO Colin Seery says the high volume of people reaching out for help this time of year can reflect increased personal stressors in the community, such as heightened financial pressures, increased family conflict, loneliness and isolation or the grief of having lost a loved one.

“The holidays are not always a happy, jolly time – in fact, for many, this time of year can be challenging and heighten feelings of isolation or loneliness,” says Mr Seery.

“Over the past two years, many of us have been coping, rather than thriving, and that is okay.

“Lifeline had record-breaking numbers of calls coming in throughout August and September, and the daily volumes remain elevated compared to what we have previously seen.

“As we approach what we expect will be some of the busiest weeks in our history, we are preparing for daily peaks of 4,000 contacts across our 24/7 telephone crisis line, webchat and text services.

“It is really important that no one feels they have to face this holiday season alone. Please, if you feel you need support, reach out to someone you know or call Lifeline.

“Our Crisis Supporters will continue to be available on our 13 11 14 phone service as well as our text and chat channels, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“So, whether it’s 3am on Christmas Day, or 11pm New Year’s Eve, please know that Lifeline will be ready to listen and support you,” he urges.

To ensure Lifeline has enough crisis counsellors available around the clock to support people in crisis, the organisation considers historical call number patterns as well as average call lengths and recently observed trends.

Contact volumes traditionally peak at approximately 5-6% above average in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and on the day immediately after the New Year’s Day Public Holiday.

To help people prepare for the challenging weeks ahead, Lifeline is also sharing a new, free Wellness Guide, which outlines a series of simple and useful tips to help relieve the stress, disappointment and loneliness that the holiday season can bring.

These range from including periods of rest, relaxation and reflection as you prepare for the start of a new year, listening to what your body is telling you and setting realistic expectations for yourself and others.

“We hope this informative Wellness Guide will give you the tools and resources to look after yourself and those you love – and no matter where you are these holidays, please know Lifeline is here for you,” says Mr Seery.

Download your free Lifeline Wellness Guide now to support yourself and the ones you love these holidays.

12 Days of Wellness 

These tips from Lifeline may be of help in looking after yourself or those you love at this time. No matter where you are these holidays – Lifeline is here for you.

1. Acknowledge and accept your feelings.

2. Make space for grief and loss.

3. Take time out for you.

4. Recognise your signs of stress and anxiety.

5. Set and maintain positive boundaries.

6. Make a holiday budget that works for you.

7. Focus on giving.

8. Get back to body basics.

9. Practice gratitude.

10. Connect to combat loneliness.

11. Have realistic relationship expectations.

12. Remember you’re not alone.