Cost of living pressure triggers record demand for Lifeline’s resources
Lifeline has revealed that they are seeing record activity through their website for help and support. Data from the organisation’s search engine shows there were over 26,000 searches for assistance and support in January 2023 across Australia, the highest on record.
In addition, referral searches by Lifeline’s helpline counsellors specifically relating to financial issues and homelessness went up 49 percent between August 2022 and January 2023.
Lifeline Australia CEO Colin Seery said it was important for anyone struggling to know that the organisation is available 24/7 to provide support.
“As well as telephone and digital support, Lifeline has 41 centres across Australia. Some of these centres offer face-to-face crisis support and counselling, including financial counselling,” Mr Seery said.
“Many of these centres are reporting a significant increase in demand for financial support, including food distribution. We are seeing this happen right now, all across the country.”
“Our centres are reporting an increase in help seekers who have never experienced financial stress before. And we know cost of living pressures also disproportionately impact the most vulnerable, including people who are unemployed, renters and young families.”
“Lifeline welcomes the provision of cost-of-living measures to deliver relief to families struggling with inflation and cost of living.”
Lifeline Australia’s Chief Research Officer, Dr Anna Brooks, said that financial stressors are not isolated to those who have a mortgage, with interest rate increases flowing through to generate higher rental costs and other economic pressures.
“Financial stress and uncertainty can contribute to mental ill health. There is also evidence to suggest that people can experience distress and suicidal thoughts when facing financial stress and uncertainty.”
If you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable.
You can phone Lifeline to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days), text 0477 131 114 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or chat to Lifeline online at www.lifeline.org.au (24/7). To donate to Lifeline, visit www.lifeline.org.au/donate
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