Demand for mental health helplines increased during the COVID-19 pandemic with Lifeline receiving the highest ever daily calls in their history. In December 2021, Lifeline WA answered 5062 calls. This was more than any other month in Lifeline WA’s history and 31 per cent more than the same period in 2020. While this shows the prolonged and devastating effects of crises on our mental health, it is positive to see Australians are not suffering in silence. They are reaching out for help, and they are getting it. One of the key goals of Lifeline WA is to break down stigmas around mental health and reduce barriers to seeking support, and this is clearly happening.
Santos has been a proud sponsor of Lifeline WA since 2016. With a large workforce of Santos people living and working in WA, we recognise the invaluable crisis support they provide for West Australians who are struggling. With Santos’ support, Lifeline WA trained 158 new telephone crisis support workers in 2021 to keep up with the demand for the hotline and the natural attrition of volunteers.
During mental health week, Santos was delighted to bring Lifeline WA on a community engagement trip to Exmouth and talk with locals about the importance of mental health, suicide prevention, and seeking help. Access to mental health services remains a challenge in regional and remote Australia, and this excursion was well received by the Exmouth community. Cricket legend and Lifeline WA ambassador Brad Hogg hosted a ‘Barefoot Bowls and Burgers’ with Brad’ event with about 100 Exmouth locals where he shared his personal mental health struggles in the hope of breaking down associated stigmas. Brad also visited Exmouth District High School where he talked to students about looking out for each other and what to do if you’re struggling.
If you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable. Phone to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14; they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.