Lifeline Australia and Gotcha4Life have today launched an inaugural scholarship to encourage men around the country to become Telephone Crisis Supporters for the national charity’s 13 11 14 crisis line.

Lifeline Australia CEO Bob Gilkes said the support from Gotcha4Life – a men’s mental health initiative led by TV and radio personality Gus Worland – will pay for 20 men to undertake the lifesaving training each year.

“While our extensive training program produces some of the most highly-skilled Crisis Supporters in the world, we also know that cost can be a barrier for some people,” Mr Gilkes said.

“So, this is an exciting opportunity for men out there to learn to better support mates and loved ones struggling with life’s challenges, to give back to the community and get a nationally-recognised qualification in the process.

“Much like the rural fire services or surf-lifesaving clubs, Lifeline Crisis Supporters are part of our country’s rich history of volunteering – it’s about Australians helping out fellow Australians in their time of need. If you’ve ever thought about getting involved, this is the perfect opportunity. You might just help save a life.”

Triple M presenter and star of ABC TV-series Man Up, Mr Worland, said that his experience visiting a Lifeline phone room helped inspire him to form the Gotcha4Life initiative.

“During the filming of Man Up, it became obvious that we as a community have a massive problem talking about our feelings and troubles,” Mr Worland said.

“We need to encourage young men to show vulnerability and let them know that it’s OK to reach out, it’s OK to not be OK. These are the kinds of conversations happening at Lifeline every day, and that’s why this is such an important initiative.”

Lifeline’s 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services received more than 950,000 requests for help in 2017 and does not have the resources to answer every request immediately. With just 25 per cent of its Crisis Supporters being male, Lifeline hopes that increasing this cohort of Crisis Supporters will encourage more males to use its services (men currently make up 40 per cent of call demand).

For more on the scholarship or how to apply, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

For 24/7 crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit http://www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.

NB: Lifeline’s 24-hour telephone crisis line 13 11 14 is pronounced ‘thirteen eleven fourteen’