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Russel Northe MLA:
Northe renews calls for lifeline Gippsland funding amid budget shun

Calls for increased funding for Lifeline Gippsland renewed.

By Portal Admin - 30th November 2020 - Back to News

Member for Morwell Russell Northe this week in Parliament renewed calls for increased funding for Lifeline Gippsland. "In terms of suicide prevention, the Government announced an ambitious target to half the Victorian suicide rate by 2025, but the reality on the ground is suicide rates have only increased since this announcement in 2015" Mr Northe said.

"This week, I used Question Time in Parliament to ask the then Minister for Mental Health why the State Government wouldn’t marginally increase funding to the very people that are working on the ground to try and meet this target" said Mr Northe.

Lifeline Gippsland services

Lifeline Gippsland is one of the oldest Lifeline branches in the country. It has a huge amount of dedicated and amazing volunteers delivering support and raising vital funds to deliver these services. Currently, Lifeline is provided around 12% of their annual funding by Government and for a paltry extra $135,000 per year they could implement the following critical measures;

  • Implement face-to-face peer support groups for our most vulnerable cohorts including men and youth.
  • Introduced paid shifts for unfulfilled rosters that are difficult to staff due to the timeframes - such as midnight to 4am.
  • Provide additional training to increase the number of Crisis Supporters responding to 13 14 11 calls.

Funding needed for suicide prevention

"Despite the Government acknowledging the importance of suicide prevention through ambitious targets, the reality is that funding is not filtering through to the organisations on the frontline of these issues as it might" Mr Northe said.

"I’m calling upon the Government to change its position and finally provide the additional $135,000 per year investment that Lifeline Gippsland requires to support persons in crisis", he concluded. You can read Mr Northe’s speech in adjournment debate.


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