How to support someone with a mental health issue
Rolling lockdowns and growing stressors associated with COVID-19 have seen a spike in demand for mental health support service Lifeline Australia.
In August, Lifeline responded to a record 3,505 calls in a single day, with the support service experiencing a 40% increase on pre-pandemic call numbers as more and more Australians reach out for help.
With the text service facing increasing demand from Australians, RACV has pledged $420,000 for Lifeline to extend its operating hours from midnight to dawn. The funding will support a six-month trial of the overnight text service, beginning in mid-October.
RACV Managing Director and CEO Neil Taylor said the new partnership with Lifeline would allow them to provide invaluable support for all Australians.
"These are challenging times for many across Australia, and organisations such as Lifeline have never been more important – we wish that was not the case," he says.
"The challenges of mental health and wellbeing are rightfully gaining more of a voice as we all navigate the challenges of COVID-19, and we hope that this funding and the associated new service helps some more people get the help they need."
Lifeline Australia Chief Executive Officer Colin Seery said the support would go a long way to supporting people in crisis and saving lives.
"We are incredibly grateful for this support from RACV, which gives us the chance to support even more people in crisis reaching out for help," Mr Seery says.
And while it's a positive that people are looking for help, there is always going to be those in the community who either don't think their feelings warrant a call to a support service or don't know where to start when it comes to getting help or even support someone they know who's struggling.
Head of Crisis Services and Quality at Lifeline Australia, Rachel Bowes, says services like Lifeline want to encourage people to reach out for help "before they're desperate and reached crisis point".
She shared her advice on ways to support yourself and those around you when it comes to mental health.