More funding needed

LEO Schultz has his fingers-crossed this year's election promises include more funding for Lifeline.

Mr Schultz is Lifeline Central Victoria and Mallee chief executive officer and says adequate resourcing is a necessity.

"The bulk of Victorian Lifeline centres' funding comes from state government and that's continuing for another couple of years," Mr Schultz said.

"But it is inadequate for our current operation, we're all struggling, so that needs to be addressed.

"This is a good time to start addressing that sort of thing with an election coming up.

"It's a chance for the incumbent government and for the opposition to assess the amount of funding that is being given to Lifeline centres, particularly regional Lifeline centres."

Mr Schultz' comments coincide with the release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Causes of Death, Australia 2012 report which includes data on deaths by self-harm.

The report shows deaths by suicide have sadly reached a ten year peak of 2535.

Suicide remains the leading cause of death for both males and females aged between 15 and 44.

"From our point of view, we know that suicide does exist in society and while the number of suicides that exist in society are a tragedy, it doesn't change what we do," Mr Schultz said.

"Lifeline has a valuable role to play in this and we need to be adequately resourced so we can keep fulfilling that role.

Lifeline has a valuable role to play in this and we need to be adequately resourced. - Leo Schultz

"There were 160,000 calls to Lifeline in the last 12 months that weren't answered and any one of those could be a person at imminent risk of suicide."

Lifeline's national executive Jane Hayden said the "grim statistics" must lead to action.

“Suicide prevention is a whole of community responsibility including governments, corporations and individuals," she said.

“Already, more than twenty thousand people have signed our petition at www.change.org/lifeline  sending a friendly reminder to the Prime Minister that Lifeline be properly funded.

We cannot have another year of potentially suicidal people calling 13 11 14 and being made to wait unreasonable times."

Visit www.lifeline.org.au to donate money. If you or someone you know needs help call 13 11 14 

160,000 Lifeline calls ring out

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