Calls to Lifeline spike in wake of coronavirus outbreak

Picture: Sam Venn
Picture: Sam Venn

Ask for help and remember - you are not alone.

That's the message from Lifeline Macarthur chief executive Brad Hannagan during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Mr Hannagan said the crisis support and suicide prevention hotline was hearing from people feeling concerned about the global pandemic, and calls were on the rise.

"I know that last week across Australia, 23 per cent of all calls mentioned concerns about the coronavirus," he said.

"And while we don't have actual statistics for this week yet, the feedback I've been getting is that that percentage has increased."

Mr Hannagan said it had been a stressful time for Australians, and calls to Lifeline reflected that.

He said people were struggling with the many trials our country had faced this year, from bushfires to super storms and now COVID-19.

"This year has been a really challenging time for a lot of Australians," Mr Hannagan said.

"Now we're seeing people in self-isolation, which is another challenge again.

"The total volume of calls we've received recently has increased by 15 per cent.

"Lifeline is receiving a call from an Australian in need every 30 seconds."

Mr Hannagan said he wanted every Australian to know that they were not alone.

"There are people right now that might be feeling socially isolated," he said.

"We encourage people to reach out and ask for help.

"It's really important that people know they are not alone and there is someone there for them.

"Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via phone, text or webchat.

"We are going to remain available through this crisis.

"You can contact us at any time."

If you are struggling or need help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au.