We receive about 2 cents in the dollar needed to supply a 24 hour service.
Lifeline's main aim is to be available 24 hours every day to those through passing a crisis and in imminent danger of taking their own life. Therefore, we befriend the despairing and suicidal. To do this effectively we have two major requirements:
- the service is so well known that no one considering taking their own life will do so without knowing of the service available to them
- we have an average of 4 listeners per day, a total of 120 so that it is not too much for any listener.
This requires funding. We earn no money, nobody ever comes through the phone with a fist of dollars. Generally our work is the last and least funded, nationally, regionally and internationally. It concentrates on perpetrators of violence for which there is little funding. Any international funding is limited if not non-existent because the allocation is determined by the GDP of the country. Trinidad & Tobago is considered to be relatively wealthy.
- Volunteers who supply in kind 84% of the resources needed to provide the service.
- The Private Sector which assists mainly in kind, e.g. a daily advertisement in the print and audio media. For example the Trinidad Express has supported Lifeline since March 1979. Most recently the communications companies have given us toll free lines: a) TSTT 800 5584; b) Digicel 231 2824 and c) Flow have given us 220 3636 which is free if the caller is using another Flow landline. Republic Bank has consistently given us a small Deed of Covenant. In 2017 Petrotrin and BHP Billington gave one time donations.
- Ministry of Social Development, NGO Unit is a major donor. Lifeline last got a subvention in 2015. In 2017 it received a one time grant of $20,000. It asks for approximately $1M, which is 16% of the total resources needed to provide the service 24/7.
Therefore, funding is a major issue. In June 2017 the service became 24 hours a day. The Funding and Media team are pursuing major initiatives to build partnerships which will raise awareness and provide a continuous flow to maintain the availability of the service.