Record demand for Lifeline amid cost-of-living crisis

Wednesday, 08 March, 2023

Record demand for Lifeline amid cost-of-living crisis

Data from Lifeline’s search engine shows there were over 26,000 searches for assistance and support in January 2023 across Australia, the highest on record.

In addition, referral searches by Lifeline’s helpline counsellors specifically relating to financial issues and homelessness went up 49% between August 2022 and January 2023.

Lifeline has 41 centres across Australia. Some of these centres offer face-to-face crisis support and counselling, including financial counselling.

Lifeline Australia CEO Colin Seery said, “Many of these centres are reporting a significant increase in demand for financial support, including food distribution. We are seeing this happen right now, all across the country.

“Our centres are reporting an increase in help seekers who have never experienced financial stress before. And we know cost-of-living pressures also disproportionately impact the most vulnerable, including people who are unemployed, renters and young families.”

Lifeline Australia’s Chief Research Officer, Dr Anna Brooks, said that financial stressors are not isolated to those who have a mortgage, with interest rate increases flowing through to generate higher rental costs and other economic pressures.

“Financial stress and uncertainty can contribute to mental ill health. There is also evidence to suggest that people can experience distress and suicidal thoughts when facing financial stress and uncertainty.”

People experiencing distress can call Lifeline: 13 11 14.

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