Ever wondered who is on the end of the telephone at Lifeline WA? As one of P&N's community partners, Lifeline WA strives to improve the lives of West Australians on a daily basis.
At Lifeline WA, there are approximately 140 Telephone Crisis Supporters who volunteer their time to assist their fellow West Australians.
Becoming a volunteer isn't something to be taken lightly and each volunteer undergoes extensive training to ensure they are best equipped to help those who call.
Before taking a single call, a Telephone Crisis Supporter must complete 92 hours of training. Once their training is completed and they pass a rigorous assessment process, they become a probationary Telephone Crisis Supporter.
During their probation, a volunteer undertakes a further 92 hours of supervised shifts before a final assessment process is completed and the volunteer is deemed competent to become an accredited Telephone Crisis Supporter.
The highly trained volunteers apply an evidence based model of support which guides a caller through their crisis, including intervention in the event a suicide is imminent.
An employed Lifeline WA supervisor supports each shift to ensure volunteers have the support they need, to debrief following difficult calls and to provide a supportive environment when dealing with moments of crisis.
"After working as an engineer for a couple of years, I decided I wanted to make a change and do something that was more meaningful and helped others. I went back to university to study psychology and at the same time, applied to volunteer at Lifeline WA to help those in crisis.
What I enjoy most are the calls where I really connect with people and make a difference to what is happening in their lives. It might only help in the short term but I know that I was there for them when they needed it most.
Not being able to see the person means you have to be a very good listener so you can get a good picture of what is going on in a short amount of time. It’s important to give someone the space and time to feel listened to, and to open up."
Lifeline WA offers people experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
If you, or someone you know, needs support, please call 13 11 14.