Lifeline WA helps crisis text support service go 24/7

18 April 2022

Crisis supporters from Lifeline WA have enabled the national crisis text support service to extend to 24/7 by picking up a four-hour service gap.

The Lifeline WA crisis supporters are helping people who are in crisis across Australia by supporting the digital service between 11pm and 4am WST.

Thanks to support from WA, the national service is now providing 24/7 support, and answering an average of 176 texts every day.

Since the pilot service launched in November, Lifeline WA’s crisis supporters have had over 5,000 conversations via text or chat with people around the country.

Perth crisis supporter Lia said the digital service reached a lot of people who did not feel comfortable reaching out for support over the phone.

“I think that sometimes people find it easier to open up and share over text as it can be less confronting than saying it out loud,” Lia added.

“It’s great for the younger generation who might feel more comfortable 'chatting' online rather than face to face or over the phone. 

“The service allows more people to reach out who potentially couldn't before, such as individuals with difficulty speaking or hearing.

“Texting can be the preferred method of reaching out for high-risk members of the community including young people, those experiencing family and domestic violence, and Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.”

Lifeline WA CEO Lorna MacGregor said the digital service allowed the organisation to help even more people who are lonely or in crisis.

“Not everyone is comfortable picking up the phone to call our 13 11 14 service, and the confidential one-to-one text service is there for people who may not have reached out for help in another way,” she said.

“This is Australia’s first ever SMS-based crisis support service, and demand is rapidly increasing, particularly from young people who are more comfortable communicating in this way.

“What is important is that people across WA know help is available. There will be someone highly trained and compassionate waiting to answer your call – or text – 24 hours a day, every day of the year.”

This service was made possible in WA thanks to the incredible support of Lifeline Australia and The Channel 7 Telethon Trust.