Living with depression and anxiety is a daily reality for 3 million Australians, and for many, knowing that someone is on the end of the Lifeline number is life-saving.
Every minute in Australia, someone calls Lifeline. People call looking for someone to talk to about suicidal thoughts or attempts, personal crisis, anxiety, depression, loneliness, abuse, or seeking information for friends and family.
Lifeline centres across the country are run by not-for-profit community service organisations like Uniting. We run the largest centre in Victoria and Tasmania out of Melbourne, as well as a regional centre in Ballarat.
10 percent Emergency Service workers of workers are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), due to the nature of their work in the community.
Last September, 650 firefighters recognised the importance of Lifeline’s services to their colleagues and the broader community by climbing the 28 floors of the Crown Metropol Hotel in Melbourne while wearing full firefighting gear weighing 25kg.
Crews from the Country Fire Authority and Metropolitan Fire Board were joined by colleagues from as far away as America to climb the stairs and raise funds for Lifeline’s life-saving work.
“It’s amazing to see so many firefighters here today doing something so positive and proactive to get people talking about these important issues – and of course to raise much-needed funds for important front-line services like Lifeline,” said Lifeline Melbourne Manager Tina Thomas.
The funds raised will be used to employ more people to cover peak periods. This provision is of benefit to the entire Lifeline network, enabling more resources to be available for callers that need our support.
Lifeline in Melbourne and Ballarat are just some of the many vital mental health programs run by Uniting.
Photographer: David Caird
Photography credit: Herald Sun