Victoria launches ‘Lifeline Narrm’ to support community in crisis

Fri, 10 Mar 2023

Death by suicide rose 9% in Victoria from 2021 to 2022*: the highest suicide rates in Victoria since 2000.

Victoria continues to lead demand on Lifeline’s services nationally: the launch of Lifeline Narrm to alleviate pressure on national system and increase support across the state and country.

Lifeline Narrm, named in consultation with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, launches on Thursday, 9 March as an urgent call to action to address Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention for all Victorians.

Currently, Victoria has the highest number of calls to Lifeline nationally, however does not have the support services on-ground to keep up with the demand – putting pressure on Lifeline support centres around the country.

In light of this and following the recent Coroners Court of Victoria report (updated December 2022) which showed a 9% increase in deaths by suicide among Victorians from 2021 to 2022, Lifeline Narrm will be essential in making a difference to the local community.

During the two-year pandemic, just 4% of calls were answered in Victoria, which prompted the urgent need to escalate support services across the state.

Chief Executive Officer of Lifeline Narrm, Carrie Leeson said that the sobering statistics prompted the need for a greater focus on increasing crisis support training programs in Victoria to support those struggling with mental health.

“Lifeline receives a call every 30 seconds, many of which are from Victoria, so it’s important that we prioritise on-ground services to help as many people as we can and alleviate the pressure on the national system. We are currently training community volunteers to answer the calls of their local community which will make an immense difference to helping those in need across the state and country.” Lifeline Narrm’s paid and volunteer workforce will be recruited locally from the Merri-bek to Manningham area and will service Melbourne’s inner city and eastern suburbs including Essendon, Moonee Ponds, Richmond, Hawthorn, Glen Iris, Croydon and Chirnside Park.

In the Lifeline Narrm geography of Merri-bek to Manningham alone, three people are reported to die by suicide each week. 

Key Statistics (reference

  • Every year more than 65,000 Australians attempt suicide. 
  • Currently, 8.6 Australians die by suicide each day, with suicide being the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44. 
  • 75% of lives lost to suicide are male.
  • The impact of suicide is significant with more than 135 people, including family members, work colleagues, friends and first responders, affected by each life lost to suicide. 
  • LGBTIQ+ community members report having attempted suicide in the past 12 months at a rate 10 times higher than the general Australian population.

For more information about Lifeline Narrm and to enquire about taking part in crisis support training, visit:

If this article has raised issues for you, or if you’re concerned about someone you know, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 . If life is in danger, phone 000.