Bring back Lifeline in the Top End of Australia

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Last year, despite having the highest suicide rate in Australia, the Northern Territory became the only State or Territory in Australia not to operate a Lifeline call centre. We must make it very clear that the 13 11 14 Lifeline telephone number can still be accessed by all Australians, including those in the Northern Territory 24/7. It's just that the Northern Territory has a pool of highly trained telephone counsellors and volunteers who are now unable to contribute. There is no longer a Lifeline office in the Top End of the Northern Territory.

This means that there is minimal Lifeline outreach, minimal display of one of Australia's most trusted brands performing a much needed community service, no daily community engagement and no permanent physical Lifeline presence in the place with the highest suicide rate in Australia. 

This is not a political petition, it's a petition for life. Unfortunately the decision to renew Lifeline Top End's funding came around the time of the last Northern Territory election. Both the former Country Liberal Party and current Labor Governments refused to approve the $500K per annum funding to keep Lifeline Top End alive and agreed that the organisation should be wound up. That is happening now. 

As a former police officer (20 years) who has lost colleagues to suicide, a former emergency services officer and Chairman of the former Lifeline Top End Board of Directors, I call on the Northern Territory Government to re-finance and re-establish Lifeline Top End. Now.

The Northern Territory still has the highest suicide rate in Australia (by nearly double the national rate) so my goal is simple - to present a petition to the Northern Territory Government and Lifeline Australia with more signatures than the entire Northern Territory population. That means more than 246,000 signatures - please help.

Suicide is a national issue. Every State, every Territory and every person (that's you) can make a real difference and help save lives.

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