At Lifeline International we provide our Members a collective voice, and connection, with important policy, research and sector partners, right across the globe. Through these connections, we strive to achieve our mission to provide more help, to more people, in more places.
Today we are pleased to share that LifeLine International has secured accreditation to The Commonwealth of Nations as a civil society organisation. This accreditation allows us to take our Members’ voices into new multi-national policy discussions and dimensions.
Already, we have established constructive and ongoing dialogue with three leading global organisations, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), United for Global Mental Health, and the World Health Organisation (WHO). By adding this important
accreditation, LifeLine International, and our Members, will join over 80 leading international organisations who share this formal recognition and relationship with The Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific. Home to 2.5 Billion people – one third of the world’s population – The Commonwealth works together with its Member States for prosperity, democracy and peace, with an emphasis on society and young people, human rights, good governance and sustainability. All of these policy areas touch on LifeLine International’s mission.
In addition, LifeLine International shares the values expressed in The Commonwealth Charter notably:
- human rights
- tolerance, respect, understanding and dignity for all people as essential to
- promoting peace and prosperity
- access to health care, and
- a focus on young people and the needs of small nation states.
We commend The Commonwealth for its willingness to address mental health and wellbeing factors with its member countries. We look forward to working across our Members, especially those in Commonwealth countries, to further this good work. For example, accreditation allows us to engage in policy discussions at an effective, multi-national level. The next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in October 2024 will be held in Samoa, where our Member LifeLine Samoa operates free telephone and face-to-face counselling services. LifeLine International will now begin work to make sure suicide prevention is on the next CHOGM agenda.
Our interaction with The Commonwealth will also offer an effective forum to demonstrate how crisis support resources assist in suicide prevention and building community resilience in the face of isolation, distress and despair. And while many countries of the 56 Members have decriminalised suicide, there remains a large number that have not, so the consensus processes of The Commonwealth will allow considered and evidence-based dialogue for change with governments and civil societies where suicide remains a crime.
Ongoing policy engagement is critical to support and accelerate the role of crisis support services around the world. Through this work, we can support more people in crisis, when and where they need us.