Lifeline volunteer Diana Young says her motivation to provide help to people who need it came through her own life experiences.
A volunteer for the past 10 years, Ms Young is now the resident face-to-face counsellor at Lifelines new Maitland service located at Rutherford Community Centre.
She was initially a phone counsellor with Lifeline, before transitioning to the in-person service in 2014.
Ms Young, 59, says the counselling arm is far different from Lifelines phone service as it has a preventative focus.
While the call-line might be a half-hour talk that ends with the call, face-to-face counselling can be six to 12 sessions with one client.
When youre doing telephone counselling, its not really counselling its a crisis line, Ms Young said.
In crisis, youre helping people to be contained, looking for resources and making sure they are supported. Its more emergency assistance.
[In face-to-face counselling] you would work with them, its ongoing therapy.
Lifelines face-to-face counselling has been around for years, but Ms Young said the organisation is looking to grow the offering and in a way, take pressure off the over-the-phone program.
Its a separate service to what the Lifeline telephone service is really about, she said.
In one way, having this service sort of supports the telephone service in that if people know and theres more awareness about it, then they can come and have counselling with us instead of relying on the telephone service.
Ms Young said making the transfer from working at Lifelines centre at Islington, to Rutherford a more central location for clients has brought benefits for both sides of the service.
The difference between being at the Islington face-to-face centre and being out in the community is I feel like Ive come to them [clients] and its in their environment, she said.
Theres something about that thats more comfortable for them to come and see me.
The Rutherford service was made possible through the local Primary Health Network and Maitland Neighbourhood Centre.
Lifeline Hunter Central Coast regional manager, Rob Sams, says the community service can help people who may not be in crisis, but have a personal or relationship issue they are not coping with.
Many people cant afford a private psychologist or to wait for a public system appointment, he said.
Our counselling fills a much-needed gap and it is for everyone. It is good to talk to someone confidentially and our counsellors listen, without judgement, and give hope as people work through their issue.
Ms Young also runs a suicide bereavement group on the first Wednesday of every month at Lifelines Islington office.
The session run from 7pm to 9pm and are an open to friends and relatives are grieving the loss of suicide.
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