Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) has announced a new partnership, designed to support Australians suffering with mental ill-health.
The $50 billion super fund for government employees has partnered with Lifeline Australia.
The three-year partnership will see CSC actively promote Lifeline's awareness, education and support services as well as providing funding to broaden Lifeline's 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
CSC chief executive Damian Hill said there has been a spike in the number of CSC customers reporting mental ill-health. He suggested this reflects the increase of mental ill-health in the community.
"The past 12 months have been a particularly challenging period for many people, and we have seen a rise in mental health issues across our community," Hill said.
"Mental health support and suicide prevention is something that needs an immediate response because the ramifications can last a lifetime and in some cases it is a matter of life or death."
He said it was important that support for mental health and suicide prevention services are able to meet the increased demand.
"CSC will support Lifeline initiatives that strengthen long-term wellbeing. This will include the sharing of resources, staff training, advocacy, and projects to address the specific needs of our customers, and especially our current and former Australian Defence Force personnel," Hill said.
"For CSC this is an important partnership that will help improve the wellbeing of our staff, our customers, and our community."
Lifeline chief executive Colin Seery added that the partnership had come at a critical time.
"This year, over one million Australians will reach out to Lifeline for support and Lifeline's 13 11 14 crisis support line receives a call every 30 seconds. The demand for our service has greatly increased throughout 2020 with the first week of 2021 seeing more calls received than any other week in our 57-year history, so the need for assistance continues to grow," Seery said.
"As part of the partnership with CSC we will be sharing Lifeline's education and awareness resources and connecting our Lifeline Ambassadors to CSC customers and CSC staff to talk about suicide prevention, to raise awareness of suicide and mental illness, to reduce stigma and encourage people who are at risk to seek help."
If you, or someone you care for, needs support you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 anytime or chat to a crisis supporter online at lifeline.org.au.