Since 1966, LifeLine International has been working to prevent suicide, enhance crisis support, and empower volunteers across the globe.
Building on the work of Lifeline Australia and its founder, the late Reverend Dr. Sir Alan Walker, the organisation formed with seven member countries: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, USA, South Korea and Taiwan
Over more than 50 years, the organisation has hosted a range of conferences, facilitated workshops, encouraged knowledge sharing, and connected representatives from smaller centres with larger and more mature counterparts.
Board Member and Past President, Mary Parsissons, says this kinship between support providers in different countries is what sets LifeLIne International apart.
“LifeLine International has given thousands of volunteers the space to share their perspectives and experience,” Mary said, “ which has helped improve crisis support around the world.”
“We provide practical support, training and advice to organisations to help keep them running.”
A volunteer herself for more than 35 years, Mary said the challenges facing crisis support organisations were different depending on the country they operated in.
She said well established centres are given the opportunity to share their lessons with those in less developed countries, providing advice and training to help them thrive.
“We are better together than separate,” she said ”and with our powerful voice we can influence change where it matters most.”
Mary says one of the most important parts of LifeLine International’s work is its recognition and celebration of the volunteers across the world who provide support to millions of people each year.
“It’s the people on the phones who are the soul of Lifeline,” Mary said, “we wouldn’t survive without our volunteers.”
Mary says she is very excited for the next phase of the organisation’s development, with a growing membership and big ambitions for the future.
“I’m really optimistic for the future of LifeLine International and hope to see our members recognised internationally as providers of vital suicide prevention,” she said.
“By learning from our history and one another, I hope to see crisis support extended to many more countries around the world.”