Lifeline is on the hunt for people from across Newcastle and the Hunter to help make our communities suicide safe.
The suicide-prevention service has partnered with NRMA to recruit Community Connectors that will work in conjunction with Lifeline, particularly in bushfire-affected areas, to ensure early intervention and support for people who are struggling with mental health.
Lifeline Hunter General Manager Julie Wicks said both the recent bushfires and COVID-19 have left many people vulnerable to mental health challenges but this can be turned around with community support.
“Covid-19 is challenging our ability to connect and recover from the bushfires together, so it’s more important than ever that we equip local people who have frequent interactions with other members of the community to be suicide aware,” Julie said.
“The earlier someone can recognise the signs that another person may be struggling, the sooner we can intervene and get that person to the help they need. By working together with the community, we will save lives.”
Lifeline is on the lookout for people who have regular contact with fellow community members and participants will be offered the opportunity to undertake Lifeline’s accredited Accidental Counsellor Course at no cost and will be supplied a suite of tool kits and wallet cards to help them refer community members, who may be struggling, to the most appropriate support services.
“We know people who interact frequently with members of the community are in the ideal position to notice behaviour change, to recognise that someone may need some professional support to cope with their current state of mental health, so we are especially reaching out to frontline members of the community,” Ms Wicks said.
“In the past, we have trained teachers, accountants, hairdressers, lawyers, publicans, priests and community workers to recognise the signs and intervene.
“These are all people who others may open up to or who can notice important changes. If you would like to help us save lives, please get in touch.”
Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, operating the 13 11 14 telephone line within 40 centres around the nation.
To express your interest in becoming a Lifeline Community Connector, contact Community Engagement Coordinator Dean Bayliss on email@example.com.