Lifeline Barwon Region Geelong:
Give Where You supports Lifeline Barwon Region through the health and wellbeing program with a $30,000 grant to increase support to callers with mental health issues.
The service is often accessed by some of the most marginalised members of the community, including those experiencing mental health problems and/or at risk of suicide. Lifeline Geelong Barwon Region answered over 9800 calls last financial year and approximately 22% of Victorian calls to Lifeline are related to mental health issues. It is also well established that mental illness can be a risk factor for suicide. Therefore, the importance of those on the phones and their supervisors being aware of possible indicators of mental illness cannot be overstated.
Funding from Give Where You Live has enabled Lifeline Geelong Barwon Region to deliver additional training in mental health issues. Through this training, crisis supporters and their supervisors have a better understanding of mental illness to allow them to pick up indicators that guide the crisis supporter in the best way to help the caller. Volunteers are on track to answer a similar volume of calls this year as last year so this training is vital. Feedback from the training has included: “Excellent”, “Informative”, and “Very helpful”.
The benefits of the training extend beyond work on the phones including enabling volunteers to support family, friends and others in the community. One crisis supporter noted that what they had learnt “…will help with life skills and self-awareness”.