HELPLINE: Lyn Anderson and Jason d'Onofrio from Lifeline North Coast.
HELPLINE: Lyn Anderson and Jason d'Onofrio from Lifeline North Coast. Trevor Veale

Search is on for crisis supporters

CHRISTMAS brings a sobering reminder of the important role crisis volunteers at Lifeline play in the community.

Lifeline North Coast supervisor Lyn Anderson said call rates had already increased in the lead-up to Christmas.

"I believe in the past week the call rate went up quite considerably. I think it's to do with Christmas loneliness, but maybe also because the royal commission into child abuse report came out last week.”

Lifeline receives up to one million calls a year from throughout Australia. The Coffs Harbour centre takes up to 15,000 calls from people located anywhere across the country.

To provide a sufficient amount of support, Lifeline North Coast's new trainer Jason d'Onofrio is putting out the call for more volunteers.

"A couple of times during the year we have a new intake of student volunteers who undertake an eight to 10-week program which trains them to be crisis supporters,” he said.

"It is tremendously rewarding,” Lyn added.

"You don't need any experience, all you need is to simply care and have a willingness to learn.

"Volunteers also receive a lot of support at all times. You always have someone with you if you need any help.”

Mr d'Onofrio will be running a new training course in February for those interested in volunteering.

If you are interested, email reception.northcoast@ or phone 66514093.

If you are experiencing a personal crisis, help is available by phoning 131114.