Some of us will need a Life­line this Christ­mas

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page -

TOWNSVILLE Life­line coun­cil­lors are braced for a busy Christ­mas as calls for help con­tinue to rise.

Life­line coun­selling co­or­di­na­tor Rachael Thorne said over the past two weeks calls had in­creased dra­mat­i­cally with many peo­ple suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion or re­la­tion­ship break­downs.

‘‘With Christ­mas it is sup­pose to be a joy­ous time. How­ever it is also a time when peo­ple need help be­cause they have lost a fam­ily mem­ber or a re­la­tion­ship has ended,’’ Ms Thorne said.

She said many peo­ple had pre­con­ceived ideas of a per­fect Christ­mas, with fam­ily and friends and hap­pi­ness, but when cir­cum­stances changed peo­ple needed some­one to talk to.

Ac­cord­ing to Townsville Life­line the ma­jor­ity of calls were from fe­males, how­ever the num­ber of male calls had in­creased by 30 per cent.

‘‘In a way it’s good to see that an in­crease of men have called and there isn’t that whole con­cep­tion that men don’t ask for help.’’

Ms Thorne said Life­line would soon be seek­ing more peo­ple to get in­volved as tele­phone coun­sel­lors.

‘‘It’s to­tally anony­mous, you take the time to lis­ten, help and you save lives.

‘‘It’s some­thing for the car­ing and non­judge­men­tal. You have to walk in the caller’s shoes and help them find their way and guide them in the right di­rec­tion.’’

Ms Thorne said half the coun­cil­lors at Life­line had been work­ing at Life­line for over 10 years.

‘‘One coun­cil­lor has been work­ing for 28 years.

‘‘It’s some­thing they all like do­ing and they find it very em­pow­er­ing and sat­is­fy­ing.

Ms Thorne said Life­line of­fered two coun­selling train­ing cour­ses in March next year.

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