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December 22, 2015

Lifeline is reminding Gippslanders its trained volunteers will be on standby over Christmas and New Year period to help those people who need it most.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has joined with Lifeline Gippsland CEO Claire Davis to raise awareness about the organisation’s support helpline ahead of the festive season, when demand for its volunteer services traditionally increases.
Mr Chester said it was important Gippslanders took the time to seek help if they were feeling isolated, stressed or anxious at this time of year.

“Christmas and New Year is usually a time for happiness, but for some people it can also be a time that causes increased stress or anxiety, which will lead some people to seek assistance,” Mr Chester said.

“Lifeline Gippsland offers a wide range of professional help services provided by trained volunteers who can listen, give advice and refer on to other crisis support services if required.

“Mental health issues come in all forms and can happen to anyone. The more complex issues can become overwhelming if left unchecked, so it is important to reach out early on.

“People who are unsure whether to call Lifeline can be confident they will be treated with respect and compassion by the telephone volunteers, no matter how tough their situation may be.”

Ms Davis said as Lifeline was resourced to answer 85 per cent of the one million calls expected to its 13 11 14 crisis line in 2015-16 financial year, stopping suicides in Australia would require a whole-of-community approach.

“Whether it’s through donating to Lifeline, looking out for one another or raising awareness of the crisis support and suicide prevention services available, we can all take steps towards creating a more connected, caring and resilient community,” Ms Davis said.

“Often, a compassionate ear can be the best way to support someone going through a difficult period, and this is particularly important during the festive season.”

To donate to Lifeline or view the volunteering opportunities, go to the Lifeline Gippsland website or call 03 5136 3500.

For crisis support call 13 11 14 at any time.

CAPTION: Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester and Lifeline Gippsland CEO Claire Davis.



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