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Lifeline Canberra backs political call to action on suicide prevention

By Lifeline Canberra - 13 September 2012 0

Lifeline Canberra CEO Mike Zissler has welcomed today’s piece in the Australian newspaper by politicians Chris Bowen and Julie Bishop, highlighting the need for an increase in the awareness for suicide prevention (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/bring-suicide-to-the-light/story-e6frgd0x-1226471372440).

The article resonates particularly loudly for the ACT office with heightened media awareness this week and a number of recent deaths in our community.

On Monday, the world recognised Suicide Prevention Day which coincided with the national airing of a report on funding issues at Lifeline Australia on the ABC’s 7:30 Report (http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3587181.htm).

On the same night, the Four Corners program broadcasted a feature on the impact of youth suicide on a community in South East Melbourne titled, ‘There’s no 3G in Heaven.’ (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2012/09/06/3584646.htm).

Mr Zissler expressed his concern for our local community with a number of suicide deaths in recent weeks, in particular the number of young people.

“I call on the government to act now to improve local and national funding to assist suicide prevention measures.”

“Further, I note and support the public statement this afternoon from both Stephen Conroy and Nicola Roxon, on the Daily Telegraph’s initiative on cyber bullying which certainly has no place in society.”

(http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/teles-troll-campaign-gets-govt-backing/story-e6freuz0-1226472662183)

The resounding message from the Mr Zissler was simple, “Lifeline Canberra is here to support the entire community, our hearts and minds are open to all.”

“There is no problem to big or too small for us, we have a core of accredited crisis supporters available 24/7 to assist anyone.”

“Suicide is tough for everyone, those who see no alternative and the loved ones who are left behind.”

“Mental Health illness does not discriminate, it can affect anyone at anytime.”

Lifeline Canberra is supported by a very passionate volunteer base who respond to the Telephone Crisis Support line 7 days a week.

Lifeline Canberra currently has over 200 active Telephone Crisis Supporters and 60 more currently in formal training.

Lifeline Canberra took just under 20,000 call last year and we are growing our call answer rate by 20% per annum.

Lifeline is available 24 hours a day seven days a week on 13 11 14 or online via Online Crisis Support Chat at www.lifeline.org.au between 8pm and midnight EST daily.

Mr Zissler can be contacted directly for further comment on 0401713480.

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