Tagged: anonymous-user

Lifeline Reaches Record One Million Calls for Help

For the first time in its 52 year history, Not for Profit crisis call centre, Lifeline, received more than one million requests for help from Australians in 2015, including recording the busiest ever four-month period for the help line. Lifeline Australia s new CEO, Pete Shmigel, said the organisation was connecting with more help-seeking people than ever answering more than 71,000 calls a month since September 2015 as demand for its 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services rose to new levels. Between September and December 2015, Lifeline said that more than 84,000 calls were received each month with a call answer rate of 85 per cent up from 61 per cent in 2012.

Lifeline said it received a call every 32.2 seconds and averaged more than 2,600 calls each day. More than 44,000 online chat requests were also made to Lifeline s online site in 2015. It s heart-wrenching that there are so many in our community in crisis and needing support, but it is heart-warming that they can rely on the compassionate and effective help offered by Lifeline s more than 4,000 telephone and online crisis supporters, most of whom are volunteers, Shmigel said.

Shmigel said that the national charity would continue to innovate to better serve the Australian public, whether it be through its use of technology or better integration with other health services. With our online Crisis Support Chat 1 service continuing to reach higher numbers of the 15 to 44 age group, the highest risk age group of suicide in Australia, we now aim to secure the funds to create a complementary text-based service, Shmigel said. There is immense potential for such a service.

For example, it could support people by checking in on their well being following a suicide attempt. Plus, it s our desire to be involved in an advanced model of mental health care that sees better collaboration between GPs, mental health professionals and other crisis helplines, including the proposed new digital gateway which we believe we can contribute to. Chairman of Lifeline Australia, John Brogden, said that Shmigel, who was appointed as CEO in October 2015, brought empathy to the task of taking Lifeline Australia and the battle against suicide to the next level.

Pete s family has lived the experience of positive recovery from suicidal behaviour. His son, Tim, who made three attempts on his own life as a teenager, recently walked 6500 kilometres from Australia s southernmost point to northernmost point to raise awareness and funds for Lifeline, Brogden said. Pete has more than 20 years of successful experience at the highest levels of Australian public policy, business and consulting.

He is well placed to implement the Board s strategy and guide the organisation as it contributes to saving and changing lives in a very complex, fast-changing digital world. In September 2015 the Federal Government announced a $5.6 million increase to the charity s domestic violence training program, called DV-alert, which trains allied health and community frontline workers to respond and refer people in situations of domestic and family violence. Brogden said that the $14 million to be provided over three years up from $8.4 million would go a long way to supporting Lifeline s vision of an Australia free of suicide.

With women experiencing personal violence 4.5 times more likely to attempt to take their own life, this support from the Australian Government will help save lives, Brogden said. It will do so by allowing Lifeline to significantly expand our nationally-accredited training program, DV-Alert, he said. Since October 2011, Lifeline s DV-alert has trained more than 5000 frontline workers across the country we will now be able to train police, social workers, emergency department staff and community workers under the increased funding.

Approximately 80 per cent of Lifeline s operating costs are funded by revenue raised from the organisation s more than 260 retail outlets nationally as well as book fairs and fundraising activities.

If you or anyone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au 2 References ^ Crisis Support Chat (www.lifeline.org.au) ^ lifeline.org.au (www.lifeline.org.au)

NFP Impact Measurement Framework Launches

A new framework that will allow Not for Profits to formally measure and benchmark the impact of their work in the community has launched in Australia and New Zealand. Corporate community investment measuring agency, London Benchmarking Group (LBG), created the LBG for Community tool to help organisations refine their strategic vision. Director of LBG Australia and New Zealand, Simon Robinson, told Pro Bono Australia News that the framework would also provide data-based evidence that Not for Profits need to gain more support from corporate partners.

It will create a common language for Not for Profits and existing or potential corporate partners, Robinson said. It would help to clarify what the strategic intent of an existing or new corporate partnership might be and, as a result of that, would clarify what impact indicators could then be used to asses what you ve set out to do has been done. It would also enable Not for Profits to make comparisons, not to compete, but to help improve more effective management and implementation of programs and activities, and potentially enhance a level of transparency for organisations who apply it in the same way LBG enables transparency for corporates.

Robison said that there was a growing interest for a measurement framework in the Not for Profit sector. The journey we ve been on for the last couple of years to support corporate members in understanding the impact their recourses, cash and time make have brought us in contact with more and more community organisations, he said. It became very apparent that there s an appetite from Not for Profits to be better equipped to approach corporate partners, to be more able to clarify what they can bring to the corporate partnership in terms of meeting business objectives as well as community need.

We ve had a growing number of enquiries from Not for Profits about joining LBG, which has not previously been possible because it s a membership for corporates. So that lead us to believe there was a need within the sector. First trialled by LBG Spain, Robinson said the Not for Profit framework was based on the company s corporate measurement tools.

Not for Profits corral resources from various sources, including corporates and elsewhere, to create inputs to the community and create outputs to generate impact, he said. So it s really, in effect, a flipping around of the existing framework to consider it from a the angle of the Not for Profit or charitable organisations. Currently in its pilot phase, LBG Australia and New Zealand is seeking interest 1 from organisations to participate in a 12 month trial.

The framework is then expected to be made more broadly available in early 2017.

While Robinson said LBG was not in a position to offer the service for free, he believed it would be cost-effective for Not for Profits.

References ^ seeking interest (www.probonoaustralia.com.au)