After a COVID-19 lockdown delay, Lifeline will open the doors to its first shop in Armidale next Monday.
In July, Lifeline's regional general manager, Michael Were, told the Armidale Express the need for crisis support has never been greater than now, and Lifeline is committed to providing crisis support services in as many regional centres as possible.
Every 30 seconds, a person in Australia calls the 13 11 14 Lifeline number for help.
Mr Were said what constitutes a crisis is defined by the individual.
"It could be suicidal thoughts or it could be someone feeling lonely or isolated. It could be someone who's had a bad day at work and needs to vent rather than take that stress home to their family," he said.
"Proceeds from the new Lifeline shop in Armidale will help fund local suicide prevention services.
"People will be able to buy bric-a-brac, fashion, manchester, furniture and books to help fund Lifeline's expanding local counselling services."
The shop is an important step in Lifeline's plan to bring more suicide prevention and crisis support services to Armidale and other parts of the New England.
It has space to expand Lifeline's free face to face and video counselling services. Lifeline currently runs counselling services from a room at the Armidale Neighbourhood Centre.
Jess Woods is the shop manager. Tamworth born-and-raised; Ms Woods has lived in Armidale for 10 years. She has been working for Lifeline this year as a peer worker helping people impacted by bushfires and COVID-19.
"I love Lifeline and the important work it does to help people in crisis or struggling with poor mental health," Ms Woods said.
"This job allows me to help bring in much needed funds for its lifesaving services," she said. "Shopping at Lifeline is good for the environment too - because we help to reduce, reuse and recycle."
Ms Woods said local people have generously donated quality goods and lent a hand to set up the shop.
She said 23 year old local man Aaron Harris has volunteered a week's worth of his time setting up the shop.
"Aaron is looking for a full-time job but when he heard we needed help he gladly volunteered."
Ms Woods has other volunteers signed up to work at the shop but would welcome more. She said there were some wonderful bargains in store.
"We have a great range of fiction and non-fiction books, including one on the fall of the Roman empire published in 1829."
"We even have some Dolce and Gabbana fashion."
The shop is at 96 Beardy Street and is open Monday to Saturday.
People wishing to donate goods or to volunteer with Lifeline should call Lifeline on 1300 152 854 or call into the shop.
Nine Australians die every day by suicide and more than 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt each year. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44. People in rural populations are two times more likely to die by suicide. Calls to Lifeline are up 25 per cent as people deal with the impacts of COVID-19.
For 24-hour crisis support, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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