Training will begin for the first group of Lifeline Crisis Supporters for Tamworth on Monday 17th July 2023.

NSW General Manager, Michael Were said Lifeline is calling for community members in the Tamworth region who are interested in becoming Crisis Supporters answering the 13 11 14 national crisis line.

Training will begin in July for this first cohort of trainees to carry out the rigorous 12 months of training required to become a Crisis Supporter. Over time, Lifeline intends to grow the volunteer ranks to more than 40.

The call comes alongside the ongoing fundraising campaign to develop Lifeline Crisis Support Services here in Tamworth.

“We have now secured a temporary location for our Crisis Supporters to take calls in a Peel Street office while our purpose-built Tamworth crisis centre and warehouse is under planning and construction.

“Lifeline receives around 3000 calls every day to the 13 11 14 crisis line. Unfortunately, not every call can be answered because we need more volunteer crisis supporters trained to answer calls.

“Tamworth is a key location for the development of our services, particularly in rural NSW. It is important that regional and rural communities are represented in our crisis supporters.” says Mr Were.

Lifeline Community Engagement Coordinator, Kimberley Squires said the service is calling on community members who are empathetic, good listeners and have time to take on new skills and training.

“We’re excited to be welcoming a Tamworth contingent of Crisis Supporters to our Lifeline team.

“Crisis support training is carried out with our team of educators in real time online. The training is carried out in teams and encourages support and relationship building between trainees.

“Crisis Supporters begin taking calls after about four months of training. When they take these first calls they have the support and direction of a supervisor.

“Our first group of training will take place from 17th July 2023. There will be additional groups in August, September and the months that follow”, said Ms Squires.

“When the Crisis Supporter trainees are ready to take calls we will have our temporary office in Peel Street set up and ready for use. The office has room for up to three Crisis Supporters on any one shift, a kitchen and amenities. It will be a comfortable and supportive environment for our team to come together, learn and support our community”, she said.

Lifeline Community Engagement Coordinator, Kimberley Squires
Lifeline Community Engagement Coordinator, Kimberley Squires

An expression of interest process enables the Lifeline team to ensure prospective Crisis Supporters have the time and capacity to be able to carry out the extensive training and important work.

To be eligible to apply, community members should be:

  • Over the age of 18 and an Australian/New Zealand citizen or have a valid visa with no study restrictions
  • Have a Police Check and Working with Children or Working with Vulnerable People Check
  • Be able to make a student contribution towards the cost of the nationally accredited Crisis Support Workplace Training course. Lifeline Centres subsidise the cost of training.
  • Travel to Tamworth or Armidale or be open to remote crisis support
  • Have the time to carry out 170 hours of training over a year and offer a minimum of 4 hrs per fortnight volunteering on the crisis line.

Thank you to The Northern Daily Leader for their support: you can read their article on Crisis Support in Tamworth here: https://www.northerndailyleade...