23 April 2020
At BHP, we are just as vigilant about supporting the mental health of our people, their families and the broader community as we are about protecting their physical wellbeing. That’s why we’re proud to commit $300,000 to Lifeline WA, helping the organisation to deliver their essential suicide prevention service at a time when many more people may be contemplating taking their own life.
Lifeline WA, which provides a crisis support and suicide prevention line, has recorded a 25 per cent increase in calls since the announcement of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with almost 40 per cent of the calls relating to COVID-19. With ongoing closures, social isolation, financial stress and other related concerns, Lifeline WA believe these figures will only be exacerbated.
Our support will help to ensure Lifeline WA are prepared for the ongoing challenges that COVID-19 will bring, benefiting the tens of thousands of people who use their service each year.
Lorna MacGregor, Chief Executive Officer of Lifeline WA said “Lifeline WA is eternally grateful to BHP for prioritising the mental health needs of our community at this crucial time. It is absolutely essential that we ensure our services have the capability to respond effectively to people who need our help.”
“This significant contribution to Lifeline WA will save lives. We want to reassure every Western Australian that we are still here for them, at any time they need us on 13 11 14” she said.
Our contribution was made through BHP’s newly established Vital Resources Fund (VRF), which was established to support regional Australian communities facing significant challenges as a result of COVID-19.
In addition to providing immediate relief, the VRF will work with partners to support longer term projects aimed at strengthening communities, to address impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the longer term impacts of the crisis become clearer, the VRF will seek to fund larger scale, longer term projects designed to specifically address this impact.
Now more than ever, maintaining our mental health is critical. These unprecedented and uncertain times will bring challenges for all of us and our families. As always, our BHP Employee Assistance Program is available on a free and confidential basis at any time. In Australia, you can also call the 24/7 BHP COVID-19 hotline, available for employees, contractors and your families on 1800 144 800.