AGL today announced it would donate $150,000 to Lifeline Australia to help the national crisis support charity assist more Australians, as the need for their services grows following the bushfires and the impact of COVID-19.
AGL CEO Brett Redman said AGL was proud to help Australia’s leading suicide prevention service increase its capacity to improve mental well-being in the community.
“Mental Health Week is an important time to reflect on how we can help those who are struggling,” Mr Redman said.
“Over the last year a big part of our focus has been on supporting our employees and communities who have been impacted by the bushfires earlier in 2020 and now by COVID-19.
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“Lifeline Australia services operate 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and has been directly supporting people impacted by these extraordinary events.
“AGL is proud to support them as they strive to extend their reach to people at the time they most need help.
“We shine a light on mental health at AGL because we know prejudice and stigma around the issue can prevent people from seeking the help they need, and we encourage our people to look out for colleagues, friends and loved ones throughout the year.”
Lifeline Australia chief executive Colin Seery said Lifeline was grateful for the support of AGL at a time when the charity was experiencing record demand for its services.
“Mental health and wellbeing has rarely–if ever–been more important than during the global coronavirus pandemic, with many people working from home and subject to other strict lifestyle restrictions,” Mr Seery said.
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“At times like this, people who are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty coping can turn to organisations like ours, which provides 24-hour crisis support and other services to Australians experiencing emotional distress.
“In fact, Australians are turning to Lifeline in greater numbers than ever before with 90,000 calls for help received every month since March, which is the highest level in our 57-year history, and is the equivalent of one every 30 seconds.
“This has coincided with our traditional ways of raising funds being shut down by COVID-19 physical distancing measures, including the closure of retail outlets and the cancellation of fund-raising events.
“This is why we have turned to the community for support and are so grateful to AGL for its donation.”
If you, or someone you care for is in need of support, please contact Lifeline by phone on 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days); chat to a crisis supporter online at www.lifeline.org.au (7pm–midnight).