With national suicide rates at a 13-year high, local businesses are being asked to get behind a new Lifeline Hunter Central Coast campaign to help it keep saving local lives.
Lifeline Hunter Central Coast Chairman, Gary Webb, said the 84amate program asks people to give just $8 per month to go directly to running the local telephone crisis service as well as suicide prevention services such as face-to-face counselling and training. Gary said Lifeline Hunter Central Coast estimates it touches more than 25,000 people in crisis a year and saves the lives of more than 5,000 people contemplating suicide. It relies on local community support for more than 55% of its funding.
Local people and businesses are starting to get behind the call for help. Hunter-based mental health advocate and 1233 ABC Newcastle presenter Craig Hamilton appears in a new campaign video created by Allan Brady from local production company GMRX Media with the support of others. All volunteered their time and resources.
GMRX Media does a major charity project each year and this year chose lifeline. Allan and Lifeline created a simple and powerful video telling the story Lifeline volunteer Dennis Johnson. Dennis’ wife, son and nephew died by suicide. He has had suicidal thoughts too, but Lifeline services helped him. He now volunteers at the Lifeline store at Cardiff to raise funds to help prevent other suicides.
Hunter Water has answered the call for support by signing up to the 84amate workplace giving program. Staff may now elect to make an automatic $8 contribution from their pay each month.
Lifeline Hunter Central Coast acting CEO Gillian Summers said Dennis’ moving story was chosen for the video because he knows how suicide takes away everyone’s mates and he is doing something about raising funds to prevent it from taking the lives of more mates.
“The impact of suicide is far reaching, touching the lives of many of our mates and many employees of local businesses and organisations,” Gillian said.
“It’s sobering indeed to realise suicide takes twice as many people each year as the road toll, with an average of seven suicides nationally each day.”
“Setting up a payroll deduction or workplace giving program is one way business can get behind 84amate to save a mate.”
Australia’s suicide rate is at a 13 year high. New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the rate rose to 12 per 100,000 people in 2014.
If this story raises issues for you may call LIFELINE on 131114 any time.
Image | Lifeline Hunter Central Coast CEO Gillian Summers addressing 84amate launch
Lifeline was founded by the Reverend Alan Walker at Methodist Central Mission in Sydney in 1963. Since then, Lifeline services have been established around Australia and in many parts of the world.
Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter began in 1966 when Reverend John Chegwidden was awakened by a distressed telephone call from a man wanting to know if there was a Lifeline service operating in the region.
Over the years, Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter has expanded its operations from the traditional telephone crisis support service to include a range of services to relieve the stress and pain of the people of Newcastle & Hunter.