The 60-year peak in Lifeline calls last weekend, the third highest in their history, is reflected in the needs of the escalating number of disadvantaged people in Victoria.
Hands on Health Australia (HoHA) Chief Executive Officer, Franca Smarrelli, said today Lifeline’s figures mirrored those of their operations. Lifeline – Australia’s leading suicide prevention service – reported that there was a 22 per cent increase in calls from Victoria last week over the same period last year, with almost 90,000 calls (one every 30 seconds) being received nationally.
“The stress and anxiety of the disadvantaged, including indigenous, CALD and LGBQTI communities are at an ‘all-time high’,” said Ms Smarrelli. “We should not underestimate how vulnerable people are feeling now. The knock-on effects on their mental and physical health are compounded by their feelings of isolation and loneliness. We welcome the initiatives that governments are doing on mental health, but we deliver more than 90,000 treatments per annum to 25,000+ clients with no Federal or State government help. There needs to be greater equity in the system because the calls for help are increasing day-by-day.”
Ms Smarrelli said HoHA’s on-line services were being ‘stretched to the limit’ in trying to cater for the physical and mental health needs of the disadvantaged in their six (6) clinics throughout Melbourne and Mornington Peninsula. The clinics have been in lock-down for more than nine (9) months because of health restrictions.
“We were just about to reopen them when the latest lock-down was announced. We are now pleased the government has lifted the restrictions so we can get back to helping these ‘forgotten people ‘and to ensure their needs are not diminished” she said.
Disadvantaged people in need of help can call HoHA’s Head Office support line on: 03) 9417 6787