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Counselling service thrown a lifeline

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/12/2016

Counselling service Lifeline has itself been lent a helping hand to keep it running.

Presbyterian Support Northern has committed 18 months of operational support, while also looking to assist in solving the service's long-term financial issues.

Lifeline takes about 18,000 calls a month, but has lost significant government funding during the past year.

Executive director Glenda Schnell says PSN's backing during the next 18 months is crucial to ensure Lifeline can continue to help New Zealanders through their tough times.

"The Lifeline staff and volunteers are relieved that our services will continue, and are now looking forward to next year," she said.

PSN, a charitable trust, provides a range of health and social services in the upper North Island.

It has been an active supporter of Lifeline since Lifeline Auckland was established in the mid-1960s by several churches.

PSN chief executive Dr Rod Watts said Lifeline's financial situation was a big challenge but there was optimism about finding a long-time solution.

"The initial priority is to stabilise Lifeline and guarantee callers will continue to receive the excellent services from Lifeline that they have relied upon," he said.

"People in crisis need to have trust in who they reach out to, and Lifeline is a well-known, trusted, confidential service."

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline's 24-hour telephone counselling service on 0800 543 354

-Depression Helpline (8am to 12 midnight)

- 0800 111 757 -Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else)

- 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

-Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email

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