Lifeline Central West offers crisis support training

HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Lifeline Central West volunteers Belinda Quinn (left) and Ray Talbot, pictured with crisis support services manager Stephanie Robinson. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 012417pblifeline2

HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Lifeline Central West volunteers Belinda Quinn (left) and Ray Talbot, pictured with crisis support services manager Stephanie Robinson. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 012417pblifeline2

LIFELINE Central West is looking for more volunteers to undertake training to become crisis supporters for the organisation. 

Crisis support services manager Stephanie Robinson said Lifeline “strongly wants to recruit” more people to answer calls from people in need of assistance. 

“We can’t answer the calls if we don’t have volunteers,” she said.

“Our goal each month is to answer around 2000 calls. Ideally, we need around 120 crisis supporters to do that.” 

Lifeline’s training course will provide volunteers with the necessary skills to give assistance in a number of situations, including domestic and family violence, mental health and financial stress.

While it takes around nine to 12 months to become fully accredited, the first step in becoming a crisis supporter is undergoing a weekend of training. 

Ms Robinson said that people of all different ages and backgrounds are suited to becoming crisis supporters, but those with lots of life experience often thrive in the position. 

“I think it is really, really well suited to people who are no longer in full time work or have life experience,” she said.

“I think people who have had life experience [do well], but at the other end of the spectrum we have young people who want to get training.

“We can train anybody who has the right kind of heart.”

Although it can be daunting to provide advice, the training will equip people with the necessary skills to ease a situation for someone.

“A lot of people are nervous going on the phone, but we don’t let anyone fly solo until we are sure they are ready,” Ms Robinson said.

People who volunteer with Lifeline are often left with a sense of satisfaction, Ms Robinson said, as they are able to help people in need and give back to their community. 

Lifeline will start its training for crisis supporters on September 2 and 3. 

It will be followed up with further training sessions every Thursday night for eight weeks.

Anyone who would like to undertake training can visit Lifeline at 293A Stewart Street, call 1300 798 258 or send an email to ataylor@lifelinecentralwest.org.au.

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