The conversations of life

Lifeline gets one million calls for help every year – but how many people don’t make the call?

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Now Lifeline is taking action to reach out to them, creating Australia’s first SMS-based crisis support service.

Called Text4Good, they are developing the service in partnership with Social Ventures Australia in a bid to cut Australia’s suicide rate which has hit a 10-year high.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 44 and with more people using SMS to communicate, Lifeline CEO Pete Shmigel says the service will help them to support people in a simple, accessible way.

A real lifesaver

“It could help people after being discharged from hospital or in high risk spaces such as railways or hotspot locations,” he says. “In particular, young men – a typically hard to reach group – may be more likely to reach out via SMS, rather than the 13 11 14 crisis line.”

Lifeline will now begin trialling the technology, which was funded by $2.5 million from the Federal government, later this year.

Following the recent death of former Wallabies player Dan Vickerman at just 37, anything we can do to save more lives is a welcome move.

For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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