THE search is on for people with a kind heart, care for the community and want to make a difference to join Lifeline South East’s crisis support network.
The not-for-profit organisation provides all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to online, phone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Lifeline South East crisis support supervisor Jeff Hodge said 131 114 was a confidential telephone crisis support service available for people in need from a landline, payphone or mobile.
“We are often people’s main support and sometimes only support,” he said.
“People have an opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives, just by being there.
“Volunteering is the perfect way for somebody to give back to the community in a positive way.”
With fires still burning across the country, Mr Hodge said people could provide support to those in affected areas by becoming a crisis support worker.
“If there are people out there who are wanting to do something, but do not necessarily know what to do or do not have enough financial support, this could be their way of giving back,” Mr Hodge said.
“We have been receiving phone calls from those living in the affected areas, so instead of people making a donation or doing something physically they can volunteer here.
“People could save somebody’s life by being on the phone with somebody, it can just be as simple as a conversation.”
Mr Hodge said all interested personnel would undergo a new training program rolled out this month.
“We have nationally accredited crisis support training which has certainly changed over the past 19 years,” he said.
“Our new training framework Care involves modules revolving around connect, attend to needs, reaffirm and empower.
“We have found the feedback from our help seekers has been positive and more workers are being thanked.”
No qualifications are required, although Mr Hodge said workers with self-awareness, open-mindedness, a kind heart and non-judgemental qualities would be most suitable.
With 25 active crisis support workers in the South East answering around 12,000 phone calls a year, Mr Hodge said hours were flexible for anyone interested.
“Somebody calls Lifeline nationally every 32.2 seconds which is over 800,000 calls made annually,” he said.
“Our centre does not operate 24/7, but we have hours available if somebody did want to do an early hour shift.
“We have three phones and it is a very flexible roster.”
Lifeline South East chief executive officer Leah Griffin said the organisation needed volunteers right across the board including with the support line, thrift shops and its warehouse.
“We are committed to empowering Australians to be suicide safe through, connection, compassion and hope,” Ms Griffin said.
“People can volunteer in a number of ways, it does not just have to be with the crisis support line, although it is where the greatest need is at the moment.
“We want as many people as we can get to help, no matter their background.”
Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation Lifeline is there to provide support and referrals.
If you need crisis support contact 131 114.
For more information contact Jeff Hodge on 8723 2299.