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Lifeline working closely together

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

(From left) Lifeline Central West’s Aidan Keough and Stephanie Robinson with Broken Hill Lifeline CEO Scott Hammond. PICTURE: Callum Marshall (From left) Lifeline Central West’s Aidan Keough and Stephanie Robinson with Broken Hill Lifeline CEO Scott Hammond. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

Two representatives of the Central West Lifeline were in the city last week to meet Broken Hill Lifeline about what experiences each could pass on and how they could work more closely together.

CEO of Broken Hill Lifeline, Scott Hammond, said the meeting had been a great chance to discuss with Central West Lifeline their community strategies and other topics.

“Not only did they get to see what services we’re providing, but it was also a great opportunity to explore working more closely together on different projects,” Mr Hammond said.

“While geographically we cover different areas, the types of clients face similar challenges including the environment, with the drought impacting across this vast area and the suicide rates that we’re experiencing.

“It was a good opportunity for us to get together and start talking about how we can start to work in partnership to address some of the concerns and issues that are facing our communities.”

CEO of Central West Lifeline, Stephanie Robinson, said good ideas had been exchanged.

“I think it’s been great to share what we’ve already been doing,” Ms Robinson said. “What’s working, what’s not working and what are the frustrations and challenges.

“Being able to put our heads together to look at some long term strategies to really make a difference in what the suicide rate is because both our centres are in regions where the rates are unacceptably high.

“Bouncing ideas off one another has been really good and since we’ve been here Aidan Keough (Lifeline Central West’s Training and Business Development Manager) and my thinking around a particular project has been tweaked.

“We’ve certainly been inspired and gotten some ideas from what Lifeline Broken Hill has done. 

“And Scott has said that his centre led by Marisa Pickett (Business Manager of the local Lifeline) has been inspired by some of the stuff that we’ve done.”

Mr Keough echoed Ms Robinson’s comments. 

“I think it’s really useful for us working within this industry, which at times can be very challenging, to spend some time together,” he said.

“Sharing positive stories and giving each other more belief and hope that we’ve got the answer and we know what we need to do.

“It’s just convincing all the other service providers and the funders to come and listen to the communities and help them solve the problem themselves, because that’s a really important part of it.”  

Community empowerment was the key aspect to all their work, said Ms Robinson.

“It’s about providing them with the right knowledge and tools, and supporting them to then work together and find out what solutions work for them.

“And so often you get an event like the drought and people come up and they sort of breeze in and they’re gone.

“The beauty of Lifeline is that we’ve been in our communities for a long time, so we know our people well, our communities, where there are gaps, and who the key people are that can help us. 

“And that’s all underpinned by our remarkable service, which is our 13 11 14 24- hour line.”

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