Expanding its reach

Alex Ferguson.
Photo: Fairfax Media.
Alex Ferguson. Photo: Fairfax Media.

It will soon be easier for people to seek help for depression and suicide in the NSW central west thanks to a new call crisis centre – where volunteers will be taking on hundreds more calls – being built in the region.

The team at Lifeline central west have three locations across the region, in Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo.

And now the volunteer’s at the Dubbo call crisis centre will move to a new and larger premises.

Executive Director for Lifeline central west, Alex Ferguson said they will be moving into the new premises in the first weeks of March 2018.

The current Lifeline call crisis centre situated in Dubbo’s Darling Street has two phones, Mr Ferguson said, but the new premises will have a third phone, allowing telephone crisis support volunteers to expand their reach across the central west.

“We’ve applied to Lifeline Australia for an extra phone,” he said.

“Our reach will be Wellington, West Wyalong, Walgett, Coonabarabran, the far west and everywhere in between,” Mr Ferguson said.

“We’d like to be aiming to answer about 800 calls per month (at the new Dubbo lifeline centre), which would take Lifeline central west to over 30,000 calls per year as part of Lifeline’s national footprint.”

As well as the larger premises, Mr Ferguson said Lifeline central west aims to increase its financial and gambling counselling services, with a focus on Aboriginal communities.

“We’ll also be extending out training services in mental health, first aid, domestic violence, drug and alcohol, plus financial and gambling.. which will all be emanating out of Dubbo,” he said.

Mr Ferguson said the support training will commence in March to increase Lifeline central west’s volunteer counsellors to 60.

This would be an increase of about 30 Lifeline counsellors. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Mr Ferguson said in his position at Lifeline he sees first-hand the affects and so couldn’t stress enough just how important it was for people to call the suicide prevention organisation and speak to someone.

“If people have a problem just pick up the bloody phone. Call 13 11 14 and have a chat…,” he said.

“The call can be anonymous.”

“When problems are not resolved people become tired and depressed and that’s when there’s trouble.” 

Mr Ferguson said it was tragic to hear of the suicide of Amy “Dolly” Everett, who tragically took her own life at 14 after being bullied.

“People have to be engaged in the prevention of bullying and domestic violence.. because it all has ramifications,” he said.