Lifeline celebrates 60 years of saving lives

Lifeline celebrates 60 years of saving lives

Content warning: This article contains discussion of suicide.

Lifeline celebrates 60 years in operation on 16 March 2023.

Established by the late Rev Sir Alan Walker, the former Superintendent of Wesley Mission, Lifeline supports people who are struggling with suicidality.

Rev. Stu Cameron is Wesley Mission CEO and Superintendent. He said Walker knew with compassion and connection there was hope. 

“Rev Alan Walker realised the power of the telephone to connect people launching the world’s first telephone counselling service, Lifeline, in Sydney’s Darlinghurst on March 16, 1963,” Rev. Cameron said.

“Sixty years on, Lifeline has become an international movement that saves countless lives. Wesley Mission’s Lifeline Sydney and Sutherland volunteer crisis supporters are available 24 hours a day to listen, without judgement to any person in Australia who is feeling overwhelmed, experiencing crisis or longs to be heard.”

“We have a long history in this field, having birthed the Lifeline movement 60 years ago and establishing Wesley LifeForce, a national suicide prevention program supporting community action groups and training in 1995.”

Lifeline, the world’s first telephone counselling service, was established in March 1963.

The highest number of calls in the service’s history was received on 19 August 2021 – 3,505 calls in a single day.

In 2022 Lifeline Online Chat becomes a 24-hour chat service under the banner of Lifeline Digital.

Wesley Mission will celebrate Rev Alan Walker’s legacy with a service at Wesley Conference Centre, 220 Pitt Street, on Sunday, 26 March, at 4pm.

If this article brings up issues for you, help is available. Lifeline operates the 13 11 14 telephone line with 41 centres around the nation as well as 24/7 text (0477 13 11 14) and 24/7 webchat available here


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