Help Life­line to help those in need

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By GIOVANNI TORRE

LIFE­LINE WA vol­un­teer Don Rechichi says it’s im­por­tant to shine a light on sui­cide and peo­ple in cri­sis in the lead-up to Christ­mas.

“Christ­mas is not nec­es­sar­ily a great time for some peo­ple and some fam­i­lies,” the Cottesloe res­i­dent said.

“Over 55,000 peo­ple rang Life­line last year and the num­bers are go­ing up more and more.

“As cri­sis sup­port­ers, we can’t keep up. This morn­ing I was vol­un­teer­ing for four hours and some­thing like 200 calls went unan­swered,” he said.

WA’s tallest Christ­mas tree will be dis­played at El­iz­a­beth Quay through­out De­cem­ber, adorned with 55,000 sparkling lights rep­re­sent­ing the lives of all those who called Life­line WA this year.

Mr Rechichi started vol­un­teer­ing as a tele­phone cri­sis sup­porter with Life­line one year ago.

“They pro­vide a huge ser­vice to the com­mu­nity,” he said.

“It is not just about sui­cide, there is a huge num­ber of is­sues.

“I have spo­ken with peo­ple rang­ing from high school stu­dents to very el­derly peo­ple, peo­ple with ill­nesses, lone­li­ness. You get all kinds of calls.”

Mr Rechichi said he tried to vol­un­teer at least once a week, usu­ally for be­tween four and six hours at a time.

He said Life­line re­lied heav­ily on pri­vate and cor­po­rate spon­sor­ship to keep op­er­at­ing, and a $25 do­na­tion could help Life­line train more cri­sis sup­port­ers to help.

“I can tell you I have had calls from the western sub­urbs as well; these calls in cri­sis come from all so­cio-eco­nomic back­grounds,” he said.

The Shine the Light cam­paign will be sup­ported by a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing cam­paign that en­cour­ages all West Aus­tralians to do­nate $25 to help Life­line an­swer the next call to 13 11 14.

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