New hotline providing life-saving help to Indigenous Australians
Australia’s first indigenous suicide prevention hotline has launched in WA, providing critical help to Indigenous Australians.
Perth-based health provider Spartan First launched the 10-week pilot program on Christmas day.
Former AFL player and Spartan First CEO, Des Hedland, told 6PR’s Michaela Carr they started the program to “save people’s lives”.
“This time of the year as we know is really crucial to our community,” he said.
“A lot of the lead agencies where you get referred to are taking the Christmas holiday period off, so there is about a two to four week gap.”
Trained responders will be available seven days a week offering crisis support for people in need.
“It’s just about having a yarn with someone and making sure everyone is okay, sometimes it just takes a good phone call to have a chat and that can simply save peoples lives,” he said.
“There is no shame in calling, there is no shame in asking for help.”
The rate of suicide in aboriginal people is three times higher than non aboriginal people in WA.
Indigenous peoples in Western Australia can call the hotline on 1800 370 747.
Click play to hear the full interview.
(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)