Help Lifeline to help those in need
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.