Farmer and Lifeline Ambassador Brendan Cullen is a passionate advocate for suicide prevention. Picture ABC TV.
Broken Hill is a long way from the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Sydney, but farmer Brendan Cullen dusted off his boots to deliver a passionate speech on suicide prevention.
By day, Brendan is a farm manager, but he is also an Ambassador for Lifeline in the drought-stricken far west of NSW.
As a sufferer of depression himself, Brendan told a packed auditorium at Lifeline’s Chairman’s Lunch that for many proud people on the land that are facing ruin, the hardest step is to ask for help.
‘’If you could imagine losing your family pet, that’s how it feels for people on the land who are losing thousands of stock,” he said.
Brendan says he travels up to 600km to see people who need help.
Given the distances, he’s hoping to raise funds for more Lifeline services in remote areas.
The keynote speaker, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, paid tribute to Brendan on the work he was doing in the Broken Hill region.
Mr Frydenberg announced in this year’s budget a $33.8 million funding boost to Lifeline’s crisis service.
It is a startling statistic that Lifeline takes a call from someone in distress or needing help every minute of the day.
Lifeline now has 1000 staff and 11,000 volunteers, operating from over 60 locations.
It answers 1800 calls each day, with about 50 of those from people at high risk of suicide.
PAYCE Foundation Director Dominic Sullivan says Lifeline is not just a voice on the phone, but in most cases a lifesaver.
“The PAYCE Foundation share Lifeline’s vision for an Australia free of suicide,” he said.
“Lifeline and its volunteers do tremendous work – that’s why we are proud to offer our support.”
- The PAYCE Foundation made a $25,000 donation to Lifeline.