Sarah Godfrey, Board Co-Chair of GriefLine joins Dave to Discuss the services offer by Griefline.
GriefLine – is a free national helpline that provides confidential counselling and support to people experiencing grief, loss and trauma across Australia.
GriefLine has been inundated with calls since May this year and has seen a 1100% increase in phone calls from the beginning of this year to date.
However, the organisation’s funding from the government budget has been halted despite the increase demand in service and GriefLine is now relying on community donations to stay afloat.
With minimal monetary support, GriefLine has still managed to:
- Offer support 18-hours a day, seven days a week with 42 volunteer counsellors
- Save Medicare approximately $4 million in rebate fees so far this year
Sponsors and community partners have stepped in to publicly fund the gap to ensure that GriefLine stays operational to take both direct calls and the significant amount of referred callers from Lifeline and Beyond Blue, as those organisations do not specialise in grief support.
In the middle of the pandemic, while managing an exponential increase in calls, volunteer schedules and the team’s own working from home challenges, Board Co-Chair Sarah Godfrey can recall the moment she received the notification that the organisation’s funding was not continuing.
As a result of this, GriefLine has been forced to reduce service hours to stop volunteers from feeling burnt out as they are committed to ensuring the health of their volunteers.