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Partner

Lifeline Australia

Charity

Lifeline Australia

Project

Lifeline Text

Region

National

Funding

$500,000

Funding Dates

April 2020 -
November 2020

The issue

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on the mental health and wellbeing of Australians, and with many young and Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples turning to text to find support, it’s important that a full suite of crisis support services are available for those in need.

In the first year of the pandemic, Lifeline Australia received almost 90,000 calls per month. While phone and chat services are available, funding constraints have previously seen Lifeline Australia limit their number of requests for support through Lifeline Text to 80 crisis interventions per day, leaving a significant proportion of people vulnerable. This includes those who prefer seeking help via non-verbal channels, or those living in remote and rural communities, who don’t have adequate access to landlines or poor internet connection, vulnerable.

Lifeline’s independent evaluation of Lifeline Text also found that 42% of people who reached out through text, wouldn’t have sought help another way. In addition, more than half of people seeking help via Lifeline Text are aged under 24 years and those who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make up 5.5% of users, despite representing 2.8% of the population in Australia. 40% of users also reported having a disability. This shows the obvious demand for their text services.

The project

To help meet the increase in demand for mental health support and ensure a full suite of crisis support services are available to those in need, nib foundation and nib teamed up with Lifeline Australia to provide $500,000 in funding support. This - allowed the 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention service to expand their crisis text-based service, Lifeline Text.

The extension of Lifeline Text has a helped support those living in rural and remote communities, who don’t have adequate access to landlines or internet connection. Increasingly, these barriers are often experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and with suicide rates almost double that of their non-Indigenous counterparts, access to mental health support services through a range of avenues is crucial.

The impact

The funding supported Lifeline to provide over 13,000 additional crisis interventions in 2020 and 2021 and helped Lifeline to train and manage 73 new volunteer crisis supporters. 

By supporting the expansion of Lifeline Text and ensuring a full suite of crisis support services, such as Phone, Chat and Text are available, we hope that no one falls through the cracks and that everyone is given the opportunity to access the mental health support they need, when they need it most.

In 2021, we also committed $750,000 over three years to allow Lifeline to develop their self-help toolkit. The toolkit will enable users to take ownership of their experience and navigate self-help resources, articles, stories and support tools that they can use every day to maintain their mental health and wellbeing.

Find out more about our latest partnership here.

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