FEDERAL member for Page Kevin Hogan was part of the official celebrations on Sunday to mark Lifeline Northern Rivers’ 30th anniversary at Summerland House.
“Lifeline is a terrific organisation that has helped a countless number of people on the Northern Rivers in times of great need,” Mr Hogan said.
“Lifeline is an organisation I hold close to my heart and which I have a long history with after my mother was for many years one of its dedicated volunteers.”
“On the occasion of Lifeline Northern Rivers 30th anniversary I would like to thank the many volunteers, past and present, who provide potentially life-saving telephone counselling and those who work in its retail outlets raising funds. Without them Lifeline Northern Rivers wouldn’t exist and the people in need in our community would not get the help they require.”
The volunteer organisation services a population of about 150,000 people from Murwillumbah in the north to Casino in the South and from Kyogle in the west to the coast, and includes the shires of Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore City and Richmond Valley.
In the twelve months to June 2013, volunteer counsellors answered 11,045 calls for help – about 500 of those were from people at high-risk of suicide.
The most recent Australian data (ABS, Causes of Death, 2009) found that reported deaths due to suicide totaled 2132 in 2009 – this equates to six deaths by suicide a day or one every four hours. For every completed suicide it is estimated that as many as 30 people attempt it, that’s 180 attempts per day or an attempt every 10 minutes.
Unfortunately the community of Page is not immune from the high number of people taking their own lives nor the huge emotional strain it places on their surviving family members and friends.
“Every time Lifeline helps someone to choose life is a reason to give thanks,” Mr Hogan said.
“Lifeline Northern Rivers trains more than 100 local volunteers every year to recognise if someone in our community is at risk of suicide and equips them with the skills to talk callers back from the precipice and find further help,” Mr Hogan said.