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Thursday, April 22, 2021

ARTC supports vital Lifeline face-to-face counselling service

More Hunter people will be able to benefit from Lifeline’s local, face-to-face counselling service thanks to a new partnership with Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

ARTC group executive Hunter Valley Network Wayne Johnson said the relationship was an effective and tangible way to extend support to residents in the community in their time of need.

He added ARTC’s value of “No Harm” underpinned everything ARTC does.

“The health and safety of our team, both physical and mental, is ARTC’s number one priority, and we take that very seriously,” Mr Johnson said.

“Good mental health is vital; and we have invested in it internally by offering staff an Employee Assistance Program, and upskilling mental health support providers within our team.

“This partnership with Lifeline helps us to play our part in achieving wellbeing in the community.” 

Lifeline’s regional general manager Julie Wicks said the assistance from ARTC was important for it to be able to continue its free face-to-face counselling program.

She explained the pandemic had brought increased demand for support from Lifeline within the Hunter – and across Australia. 

“Confidential one-hour sessions are delivered by trained counsellors and are an important service to help people move beyond crisis and to also prevent them from reaching that crisis point,” Ms Wicks said.

“Counselling can help people struggling with emotional, social or behavioural difficulties and those needing to find solutions to improve their mental health and well-being.

“Private counselling and psychology can be expensive for people and there are long wait lists for public counselling.

“So, Lifeline’s service fills a much-needed gap for the community.”

Ms Wicks said the partnership with ARTC extended beyond its generous funding support.

ARTC staff will volunteer at Lifeline’s upcoming local book fair on April 10 and 11 at the Newcastle Showground Exhibition Centre. 

“This affiliation embodies our approach to work with community for communities to be suicide safe – through connection, compassion and hope,” Ms Wicks said.

Lifeline’s free face-to-face counselling is offered Monday to Friday at Islington and at outreach locations in Singleton, Raymond Terrace and Cessnock.

To make an appointment phone 1300 152 854.

Lifeline’s crisis support line, 13 11 14, operates 24 hours a day.

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