Lifeline is launching a 24/7 crisis text service to expand its support for Australians struggling with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Australians are reaching out to Lifeline’s crisis support and suicide prevention services in record numbers, hitting more than 3700 calls in one day last month.
The Lifeline Crisis Support Text Service is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via confidential text message to 0477 13 11 14. Following a few questions via text, Australians are connected to a trained Lifeline crisis supporter.
Health Minister Greg Hunt says Lifeline’s 24/7 text service is an important expansion of the vital service the charity provides in crisis support and suicide prevention.
“The significant surge in demand for Lifeline’s services during Covid means more people are reaching out for help, and services like Lifeline are there to help,” says Minister Hunt.
“The expansion of the text service is backed by data showing that it is the preferred channel for high-risk members of the community including young people, those experiencing family and domestic violence, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
“The introduction of the 24/7 service follows a successful two-year pilot of a limited text service, made possible with $2.5 million from the Morrison Government.”
Lifeline received a record 1,070,860 calls from Australians in crisis in 2021, but managed to increase its average call answer rate to 90.4%. In the same time period, the service also responded to 51,265 text conversations.
“Lifeline’s crisis service and the passion of its volunteers mean that no Australian has to experience their darkest moment alone – they literally save lives,” says the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman.
“The 24/7 lifeline crisis support text service makes Lifeline’s support available to groups who might otherwise not reach out for help, particularly young people who are often more comfortable using text services.”