Riding The Online Highway to Help

The 2013 Black Dog Ride to the Red Centre broke all previous records for participation, engagement and fundraising.

675 Australians riding a collective distance of over 1,762,500 kilometres, with support from over 50 Lions Clubs and 90 local communities, raised over $360,000 for Lifeline Australia and Mental Health First Aid Australia. The awareness of suicide prevention raised from such a massive community engagement program is incalculable.

It is vital to Black Dog Ride that funds raised in the community go back into supporting the community. MHFA will be training eight Black Dog Riders as MHFA Instructors, ensuring the community has access to crisis support training, and will be building it's reach across the nation to enhance Australia's mental health literacy. Lifeline will be devoting it's share of the funds raised to building the capacity of it's Online Crisis Support chat service.

What is Lifeline's Online Crisis Support and why is it important to support it?

Black Dog Ride supporting Lifeline Australia Lifeline's new Online Crisis Support chat service is available to the public between 8pm and midnight (AEDT), 7 nights per week and can be accessed here. The service provides another option for help-seeking, and complements Lifeline's core national telephone crisis support service - 13 11 14. This new online service is demonstrating that Lifeline is reaching a whole new cohort of community members. 31% of people accessing the Online Crisis Support chat service were connecting with it for mental health reasons, and 46% of people accessing the service indicated "they were thinking about suicide" the day they contacted the service.

Who are the help-seekers accessing Lifeline's Online Crisis Support chat service?

• 60% of contacts are under the age of 24
• 42% are from regional and remote Australia (where access to help within their local community can be limited)
• 5% are from Aboriginal & Torrens Strait Islander background (which is an over-presentation of the population 2.5%)
• 76% of contacts believed the chat session helped them.
• 35% indicated they would not use the phone crisis line.

Why do we need Lifeline's Online Crisis Support chat service?

Over a third of the 65,000 individuals in Australia each year who make a suicide attempt have not sought help from any service agency or health professional. The internet is increasingly used by people seeking help:

• 99% of young people use the internet daily
• 30% of young people use the internet to seek mental health services (Burns, Webb, Durkin & Hickie, 2010)
• 60% of visitors to Lifeline Crisis Support Chat service are aged 24 years or younger.
• 66% of young men experiencing moderate to very high levels of psychological distress state that they find talking about their problems on the internet helpful.

Lifeline will be using it's share - $180,000 - of the funds raised by Black Dog Riders during the Ride to the Red Centre to build the capacity of their Online Crisis Support chat service to reach more help-seekers.

Black Dog Ride and Lifeline send out a heartfelt thank you to every Black Dog Rider, every sponsor and every donor for all the lives that will be saved by supporting Lifeline's Online Crisis Support chat service. Thank you!