Thursday, December 9

Lifeline calls nearly doubled over pandemic

Lifeline Aotearoa says calls and texts to its helpline have skyrocketed in the past 18 months, up 88 percent compared to 2019.

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Photo: Illustration: Lee Smith-Gibbons / The Wireless

The charity provides free and confidential mental health support from qualified counselors and trained volunteers.

Its operations manager, Helena de Fontenay, said one reason for the increase is the change in attitude toward mental health support by phone and text messages.

“I think the idea of ​​communicating on the phone and texting has become part of the norm.

“We make doctor’s appointments over the phone, so why not get help over the phone?”

The week of September 27 to October 3 is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the demand for services throughout Aotearoa has expanded during the Delta outbreak.

Lifeline recorded its highest texting day on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day.

De Fontenay said the first week of the current lockdown saw Lifeline receive around 8,500 calls and texts, which rose to 8,700 in week two, 10,900 in week three, 11,167 in week four and 10,713 in week five, when most of New Zealand was on Alert Level 2.

De Fontenay said most of the calls to service right now are about loneliness and isolation.

“The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘Take some time for Kōrero,’ and that’s exactly what we want people to do when they call Lifeline.

“That’s why we exist for anyone, anytime, anywhere in New Zealand, for someone to do kōrero with when there may be no one to talk to.”

Lifeline Operations Manager, Helena de Fontenay.

Photo: Lifeline New Zealand

To meet the growing need, Lifeline seeks urgent donations train more permanent staff and volunteers.

“‘Despite the massive increase in demand for our services, Lifeline receives no government funding, and relies on donations to provide our essential support,” de Fontenay said.

“We must all work together to address New Zealand’s mental health issues. That includes supporting our front-line volunteers and counselors. At Lifeline, we need funding to train more people, take more calls and save more lives.

“If you’ve ever met someone who has struggled with mental wellness, this is the time to give on their behalf because the $ 50 you give can literally save the life of someone in your community.”

Where to get help:

I need to talk? Call toll-free or text 1737 anytime to speak with a trained counselor, for any reason.

Life line: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865/0508 TAUTOKO (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide or for those who are worried about family or friends.

Helpline for depression: 0800111757 (24/7) or text 4202

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

Youthline: 0800376633 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or send a free text message to 234 (8 am to 12 am), or send an email to [email protected] nz

What’s the matter: online chat (3 PM to 10 PM) OR 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428787 Helpline (12 PM to 10 PM Monday to Friday, 3 PM to 11 PM) M. On weekends)

Kidsline (from 5 to 18 years old): 0800 543 754 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254

Health line: 0800 611 116

Rainbow youth: (09) 376 4155

Outline: 0800 688 5463 (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm)

If it is an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

Sexual violence

New Zealand Police

Support for victims 0800 842 846

Rape crisis 0800 88 33 00

Rape prevention education

Empowering Trust

HELP Call 24/7 (Auckland): 09623 1700, (Wellington): be 04801 6655-0

Safe to Talk – A confidential 24/7 helpline for survivors, support people, and people with harmful sexual behavior: 0800044334.

Mosaic: protecting people Peer support for men who have suffered sexual trauma and abuse: 0800 94 22 94

Domestic violence

Women’s shelter: (0800 733 843)

Not well (0800 456 450)

Shine: 0508 744 633

Support for victims: 0800 650 654

HELP Call 24/7 (Auckland): 09623 1700, (Wellington): be 04801 6655-0

The New Zealand National Family Violence Services Network has information on agencies specializing in family violence.

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