Relationship-based calls concern helpline
Wed, 02 May 2012 4:25a.m.
Telephone counselling service LifeLine says it is concerned by a recent shift in the reasons people are calling the helpline.
Historically, calls to the helpline have been dominated by mental/psychiatric issues, depression, self worth and loneliness, but last year the leading cause of calls was issues surrounding a marriage or de facto relationship.
The number of calls received by volunteers in 2011 was 122,400, in line with figures from the year before, but the proportion of calls relating to a relationship spiked to 39 percent.
LifeLine clinical manager Melanie Ingram says while it’s “understandable that Christchurch people would be in difficulty… this is a nationwide statistic” which has concerned the organisation.
“It’s not our business to analyse the reasons but we feel it’s important for those whose business it is, to know that there are a lot of primary relationships… in trouble,” she says.
Calls to the helpline doubled over 2010, which was attributed to the recession; however, this rate has continued through 2011.
Ms Ingram says this is “most likely a combination of many causes, [even] New Zealand’s poor summer weather”.
“Our concern is that this could be the tip of the iceberg.”
Top 5 reasons for LifeLine calls in 2011
Marital/de facto relationships – 39 percentSelf Image – 20 percentMental/Psychiatric – 20 percentDepression – 15 percentCommunication – 14 percent
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