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Template:Primary sources Template:Infobox Organization Lifeline is a free, 24 hour telephone counselling service in Australia. Volunteer counsellors provide suicide prevention, crisis support and mental health services via telephone. This service can be accessed by calling 13 11 14 within Australia.

Telephone counselling is provided via a network of Lifeline Centres maintained by trained volunteers and some paid staff. As at April 2010, there were almost 60 Lifeline locations, with about 3,500 staff handling calls and another 7,500 volunteers involved with fundraising and administration (see Lifeline Media Kit 2009).

For the year July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005, Lifeline received over half a million telephone calls. In the same period volunteer telephone counsellors listened for more than 500,000 hours. Approx 80% of Centre operating costs are funded by revenue raised from Lifeline’s retail, book fairs and fundraising activities.[citation needed]

Some Lifeline Centres also provide other support services which may include face to face counselling, group support, assistance with food & utility bills, support for the elderly and frail, and related services.

It is an important service for many people with a mental health illness who cannot access their doctor after business hours.

History

Lifeline was established in 1963 in Sydney, Australia by the late Reverend Dr Sir Alan Walker of the Methodist Central Mission, now known as Wesley Mission. Rev Walker was inspired to establish Lifeline after realising that he alone did not have the time or resources to provide sufficient attention and help to the increasing number of people facing difficulties and personal crises who were contacting him for assistance.[1]

Following two years of planning and preparation, a nine month training course for 150 people, the renovation of a century old building owned by Wesley Mission in downtown Sydney, and the listing of the Lifeline telephone number on the emergency page of the telephone directory, the first call to the service was received on March 16, 1963.

In January 1964, Lifeline was featured in an article in TIME magazine[2], which led to the establishment of similar services around the world. The first international convention of Lifeline was held in Sydney in August 1966 to guide the development of Lifeline services and to establish quality standards, which led to the formation of Lifeline International.

International Operations

Lifeline is part of an international network and through LifeLine International has centres in nineteen countries. All Lifeline Centres adopt the same standards but use different names in some countries. For example, in Canada the service is called Telecare; in Japan, Inochi no Denwa (meaning "life phone"); and in the United States of America, Contact.

Lifeline is also a member of the Volunteer Emotional Support Helplines (VESH) - a partnership between Befrienders Worldwide, International Federation of Telephone Emergency Services (IFOTES) and LifeLine International. Members have pledged to work together to provide an effective telephone crisis counseling service throughout the world. The VESH network of volunteer counsellors provides services in 61 countries.

References

External links

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