Since 1973, every day without fail for 50 years, the TELL Lifeline has been here supporting individuals in need, providing connection and a caring voice, working to prevent suicide, offering practical support, and linking people to services. As we step into 2023, we are excited to celebrate our 50th anniversary, which has only been possible due to the amazing efforts of 100s of volunteers that keep our service running and the assistance and encouragement of our many donors and supporters over the years.
In 2022, around 140 Lifeline volunteers covered over 2,000 shifts, connecting with over 8,200 users providing more support and access than ever before. Across the Christmas holiday weekend, thanks to our dedicated volunteers, the TELL Lifeline offered 24 hour coverage, speaking and chatting with around 80 – 90 users who were lonely, feeling desperate, and struggling with the holidays.
In 2022, the Lifeline saw an increase in the number of users expressing suicidal thoughts and struggling with depression. A third of all users who reached out to the Lifeline expressed thoughts of suicide currently or in the past week, with depression, relationships, and financial or workplace issues being the most concern. This is a shift from previous years, where loneliness and anxiety, along with depression, were the top three issues.
More users in their 20s and 30s reached out to the Lifeline – mostly via our chat service – with more Japanese and older users preferring our phone support. 36% of users were Japanese, 35% were from North America, and the next largest demographic was from other Asian countries. More females than males reached out to both our phone and chat support, with 7% of users identifying as non-binary, questioning, or transgender.
As we head into the New Year’s weekend, the Lifeline will again be there 24 hours helping anyone in need who may be struggling with the hope we all make it safely into 2023.
To all our 2022 donors and sponsors, we thank you for your incredible gifts of hope and for helping us be there for others. We wish everyone a happy and healthy 2023 and look forward to celebrating 50 years of supporting the community with everyone in the New Year.