Lifeline, the country’s leading crisis support and suicide prevention organisation, is proud to be celebrating its 60th birthday today.

Lifeline was founded in Sydney on 16th March 1963, conceived after Rev Dr Sir Alan Walker OBE had taken a call from a distressed man who later took his own life. Determined not to let isolation and lack of support be the cause of more deaths, Sir Alan launched what was later to become the organisation’s 24/7 telephone crisis line, 13 11 14.

Lifeline’s crisis support phone line was the first of its kind in Australia. With roots in the Central Methodist Church and Wesley Mission, Lifeline took 100 calls on that first day, and the phone hasn't stopped ringing since, quickly expanding around Australia. The organisation has taken over 23 million calls to date.

Lifeline New England North West North West CEO Rob Sams said Lifeline is rebuilding in the region to be here for the next 60 years.

Mr Sams said in the past few years, Lifeline has reintroduced free face to face and video counselling services in the region. It has opened shops in Armidale, Tamworth and Glen Innes, with more to come.

“We’ve also been working in communities on other suicide prevention and disaster recovery projects,” Mr Sams said.

He said another exciting development is the re-establishment of local volunteer crisis supporters for Lifeline’s 13 11 14 service.

“Thanks to a recent grant from the NSW Government we are training 10 crisis supporters to be on the phones at our Armidale counselling and shop centre. We plan to follow suit in Tamworth soon and provide opportunities for people in other parts of the region to volunteer remotely.”

“We need more crisis supporters and funding to train and support them so that we can continue to offer hope, compassion and connection to the increasing number of people looking to us for help.”

“Lifeline couldn’t do what it does, nationally and locally, without the support of its: selfless volunteers; sponsors; donors; community, government and business partners, and dedicated staff.”

“If you can help or are interesting in volunteering as a crisis supporter, please get in touch at or 1300 152 854.”

Robert Sams 0451 media

To mark the milestone, Lifeline will be hosting events celebrating the people who have made and continue to make significant contributions to the lives of so many, kicking off the celebrations with an exclusive screening of a new documentary in Sydney.

If you, or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable.

You can phone Lifeline to speak to a crisis supporter 24/7 on 13 11 14, text 0477 131 114 or chat at