9 January 2013


| Lifeline Canberra
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Lifeline Canberra CEO Mike Zissler today announced that the local Telephone Crisis Support line is ready, available and taking more calls than ever, with 21,357 calls answered by volunteers from the region in 2012.

“In 2012 Lifeline Canberra took more calls than ever with a 30% increase in our call answer rates, supporting people in crisis in our community and around the nation through our local Telephone Crisis Support line,” said Zissler.

“I cannot be prouder of the work we do each and every day, our volunteers give up their time to listen to those in crisis and help by relieving their distress and quite literally Changing Lives for the Better, Lifeline Canberra’s mission.”

The 21,357 figure is a increase of 6,347 (15,010) from the previous calendar year.

Mr Zissler continued to praise the efforts of his staff and an increasing list of volunteers who daily take the calls and emphasized the importance for increased funding to match the service demand.

“In any economic model you want supply to equal demand. We are currently stretched to our limits in terms of a balance between what our current volunteers can deliver and our need to train more volunteers.”

It costs Lifeline Canberra approximately $8,000 to train and support each volunteer over a period of nine months.

“I strongly encourage all businesses and residents in the region to support Lifeline Canberra by becoming a corporate supporter, buy a dress from our Vintage clothing store in Lonsdale St. Braddon or attend our next Bookfair on the 15-17th of March at EPIC. Every dollar counts and does make a difference.”

In Canberra’s centenary year, Lifeline Canberra will again train over 120 new recruits to ensure the phones and all calls are answered into the future.

“If you have ever thought about becoming a Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporter now is the time. Applications to become a Telephone Crisis Supporter close soon so if you have a desire to help make your community more resilient, we encourage you to get in touch and find out more by calling 6247 0655.”

Mr Zissler continued, “As we continue to brace for extreme temperature and winds we are very mindful of the 10th Anniversary of the 2003 Canberra Bushfires and the impact these natural disasters have on people who have experienced the trauma and loss of events passed.”

“Our thoughts are with the families who lost loved ones during the 2003 bushfires and those who also suffered significant trauma,” said Zissler.

“We encourage anyone who is in distress during this time to call Lifeline on 13 11 14. We have trained volunteers who will listen and take time to provide vital to support those who may be struggling with today’s events and those in the past.”

Anyone wishing to donate to Lifeline Canberra can visit the website www.act.lifeline.org.au and follow the links to the donation page.

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