Lifeline adds text support service to save lives

  • 21/03/2018
The free service is open to anyone in distress.
The free service is open to anyone in distress. Photo credit: Getty

Counselling provider Lifeline is expanding its services to offer text support for people in distress.

The free service begins at 10am on Wednesday and is open to anyone wanting to talk about an issue of concern.

To use it, a person sends a message to HELP (4357) and a counsellor or volunteer will respond.

Lifeline says it expects the service to be used by a different group of people to those who connect by phone.

"Lifeline has been a call away for people in distress for over 50 years and we're so pleased to be able to add to this service and respond to the growing need to communicate via technology," executive director Glenda Schnell said.

Lifeline receives over 10,000 calls a month to its free helpline.

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
  • Healthline - 0800 611 116
  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)
  • 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
  • What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) - 0800 942 8787
  • Kidsline (aimed at children up to 14 years of age; 4pm to 6pm weekdays) 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline)