First Indigenous crisis supporters answer calls at Lifeline WA

15 September 2022

Lifeline WA has trained the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander crisis supporters to answer calls to the 13-YARN service, which helps First Nations peoples who are overwhelmed or in crisis.

The three First Nations crisis supporters have started taking calls to the national 13-YARN (13-92-76) service, which was developed by Lifeline and Gayaa Dhuwi Australia, and funded by the Federal Government.

The First Nations crisis supporters undertook 65 hours of culturally sensitive training before answering calls.

Lifeline WA CEO Lorna MacGregor said she was proud that WA would now be contributing to the national service.

“We know that suicide rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are far too high, and this service was launched specifically to address that by providing a confidential, culturally safe space for people to talk.

“All of the crisis supporters who pick up calls to the 13-YARN service are First Nations people who have been trained to listen to people without judgement and support them through crisis.”

Crisis supporter Lowanna Hugall said 13-YARN was an essential service for saving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“I became a crisis supporter to be there for our mob in their time of need, to be there to promote healing from generational abuse and closing the gaps,” she said.

“It will be worthwhile even just to save that one life that would have otherwise ripped through our lands, causing pain and loss, if I had not answered the phone.

“I want to encourage the silent to share their life story, their despair and together find their spirit upon this land and I wish more than anything that they may grow in resilience to teach the next generat

Lifeline WA will begin training the next cohort of First Nations crisis supporters later in the year.

13-YARN is available 24/7 on 13 92 76

Lifeline’s 24/7 telephone crisis support service is available on 13 11 14.