Lifeline Aotearoa has called for an increase in suicide prevention resources after fielding one call every five minutes over the Christmas period.
Calls to the crisis line which provides experienced counsellors 24 hours a day increased by 16% during the 11-day period from 24 December to 4 January.
Lifeline Aotearoa Senior Clinical manager, Ms Lanovski says a large number of New Zealanders are experiencing significant levels of distress in their lives.
“Over holidays they may feel more acutely distressed while at the same time having less access to support due to regular services being less available,
From the sheer number of high risk calls to Lifeline it seems clear that we need to do more in New Zealand to bolster the resources of the suicide prevention sector,” says Md Lanovski.
With no government funding, recruiting and training counsellors requires a lot of fundraising.
“There are over 120 volunteers working for Lifeline Aotearoa. Their contribution to New Zealand communities is invaluable, but to Lifeline Aotearoa, each volunteer costs approximately $1,200 in training. This cost is solely to provide the volunteers with the relevant education and preparation so that they can maintain the outstanding level of care and professionalism Lifeline staff are known for.” Ms Lanovski adds.
If you, or anyone you know needs help, you can call Lifeline Aotearoa on 0800 543 354.