Lifeline responds to community need for support following natural disasters

February 13, 2024
Lifeline Community Recovery Service Manager Len Phillipson.

Lifeline Queensland has answered more than 1,200 calls for support since the establishment of a dedicated 24/7 service for Queenslanders affected by natural disasters five weeks ago.

The Lifeline Queensland phone support service was set up to provide emotional support to people in affected regions, particularly in the state’s far north and south-east.

Since the dedicated service went live on January 5 in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Jasper and severe storms in South-East Queensland, teams have responded to more than 1,200 calls from the community.

Len Phillipson, Service Manager, Lifeline Queensland Community Services said ongoing emotional support was critical following environmental disasters.

“Often in the early days of a disaster, people operate in automatic mode – there’s cleaning to be done, shelter to be found,” Mr Phillipson said.

“It can be days, weeks or even longer when people are able to process what has happened,” he said.

“However, once the panic starts to settle down and the reality of what’s happened has set in, the emotional toll of the impact is the part of recovery that takes time.

“The Lifeline emotional support number was set up to support the significant number of Queenslanders affected by environmental disasters across the state, and we have seen a large volume of requests for support since the dedicated service was established.”

The Lifeline phone service (1800 116 671) offers another layer of support to people affected by catastrophic weather events, with face-to-face support also available through Lifeline’s Community Recovery Hubs.

Mr Phillipson said the emotional distress people experience following a natural disaster can be harrowing, and without early intervention, it can cause longer-lasting impacts for individuals and the broader community.

“That is why Lifeline is so vital,” he said. “Through this dedicated phone service, the compassionate and trained Lifeline Queensland team has been providing a listening ear, helping callers to feel emotionally and mentally safe.

“Lifeline Queensland remains dedicated to helping individuals and communities through difficult times, and we will continue to support Queenslanders impacted by natural disasters in the weeks and months to come.”

UnitingCare Queensland delivers Lifeline’s 24-hour Crisis Support services through phone, text and chat, providing suicide prevention services with a non-judgmental and compassionate listening ear. It also provides Lifeline’s disaster recovery program, Community Recovery, and individual and group support services. All proceeds from the Lifeline Shops and Bookfest events across the state keep Queensland’s 13 11 14 crisis line going.

For further information call Lauren Barrett on 0423 652 588 /

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