During March, April and May, Lifeline Macarthur received more than 250,000 calls for help.
There had already been an increase in calls this year, but the Covid-19 pandemic spiked up the number of people seeking help from Lifeline.
Following the start of the pandemic, 47 percent of callers to Lifeline Macarthur’s 13 11 14 call centre mentioned Covid-19 related issues, from which health was the common concern.
However more recently 28 percent of callers with Covid-19 concerns were related to unemployment and finances.
The range of Lifeline services include a 24/7 crisis support telephone line as well as financial counselling offering professional and confidential support and guidance for those experiencing all sorts of difficulties including stress, anxiety, mounting bills, and those generally having difficulty coping.
A timely $20,000 Club Grants donation from Wests Group Macarthur will enable Lifeline Macarthur to continue doing its vital work in the next few months, helping individuals and families doing it tough.
“Part of the Wests community mission is to recognise where the key challenges lie in the community and work hard to support partners like Lifeline Macarthur that can really make a difference,’’ says Wests Group Macarthur CEO Tony Mathew.
“We are proud of our long running association with Lifeline and honoured to be able to assist people in these tough and uncertain times”.
Ellen George, of Lifeline Macarthur, says that in the past 12 months the community has faced some extraordinary challenges, from drought to bushfires and flooding – and now the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This coupled by the usual stress people experience will have a long term effect on our community,’’ says Ms George.
“Now with forced closures, additional financial stress and social isolations impacting our community, we are experiencing higher demand for our services.’’
The $20,000 donation is being followed with more fundraising for Lifeline Macarthur. Wests recently ran a special $6.50 coffee and cake deal across all their venues whereby a portion of all sales up to August 2 will be donated to Lifeline in support of Stress down Day 2020.