Feeling troubled? Please don’t discount your experience, because we don’t.

Ruben Mackellar spoke with ABC Life about what it’s like being a Lifeline Crisis Supporter during the coronavirus pandemic. Ruben shares his thoughts on how COVID-19 has impacted calls to Lifeline, and what he does to assist people.

He emphasises allowing your own issue to be valid, because it is to the Lifeline Crisis Supporter on the other end of the phone. 

“People usually open up and share what’s troubling them, but not before belittling their issue. They’ll start with something like… ‘I know it’s not a big deal’ or ‘this shouldn’t affect me’.

For anyone who might be thinking of reaching out — never discount your issue. If something is troubling you, well done for doing something about it.”

Around Australia, over 89,000 people called Lifeline in April. Our Lifeline WA volunteers answered thousands of calls, making a connection with each person to let them know they are not alone in these times.

Is Lifeline only for people thinking about suicide?

No, we’re here for all Australians when they need us, 24/7. Lifeline provides crisis support. A crisis is any situation where your coping capabilities are pushed beyond their capacity. You may be experiencing emotional distress, intense emotions, and trouble problem solving or seeing a way through. That’s all of us at some time in our life.

If you are thinking of suicide, you can talk to us about it on 13 11 14. It’s not uncommon, and talking about it can help. We have conversations about suicide every day.

People also call us for help and advice on what to do when they’re concerned about someone they care about.

What happens when you call Lifeline?

A trained Telephone Crisis Supporter will answer your call. They will listen to your situation and provide immediate support. They’ll assist you to clarify your options and choices. The Crisis Supporter can also provide referral information as needed.

What does it cost to call Lifeline?

Calls to 13 11 14 from mobiles are free. That includes pre-paid customers who are out-of-credit, up until the prepaid service is suspended. Most calls from a landline will be charged the cost of a local call, however additional charges may apply for some home phone plans.

You can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Image credit: Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Unsplash