Melbourne, July 21: With recent tragic reports of suicide among members of Australia’s multicultural communities, Lifeline Australia is urging people of diverse backgrounds to seek crisis support when they need it

31 year old Supraja who hailed from Hyderabad, India; was in Melbourne with her husband Gannaram Srinivas, who is working as software engineer for outsourcing company Tech Mahindra’s Melbourne office.

On July 18, it is believed that Supraja, took her own life and that of her son 4-month baby Shrihan, in a fall from a Bourke Street balcony in Melbourne CBD.

The national charity’s CEO Pete Shmigel said that the growing suicide emergency does not discriminate, and is having devastating impacts on friends and families in diverse communities across the country. “I want to express our sorrow at hearing of the recent events. It’s truly heartbreaking to see reports of suicide among our multicultural communities, or indeed any community,” Mr Shmigel said.

“Whether you’re an international student under pressure to perform or someone feeling isolated by cultural, faith, ethnic or linguistic barriers, including the migration and settlement process, Lifeline’s 24/7 crisis services are there for you.

“Our highly-skilled and kind-hearted Crisis Supporters can help you cope with what you’re going through and provide appropriate referral services”.

Mr Shmigel also highlighted that, while support is currently available to non-English speakers, the national charity is urgently working to make its services more accessible, culturally safe and appropriate.

Data has shown that, where such information is disclosed, about 7 per cent of calls to 13 11 14 crisis line are from people who speak a language other than English at home.

“This shows that Lifeline’s 24/7 caring and non-judgement services do support people from all walks of life, with some contacting us through the free Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS).

“However, we’re currently exploring opportunities to improve the way we provide support to multicultural communities, including through our nightly online Crisis Support Chat service and proposed Crisis Text service.

“It’s not just about making crisis support more accessible for non-English speakers, but also more sensitive to the different cultures, attitudes and outlooks that make up our rich and diverse community,” Mr Shmigel said.

For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit

For those who do not speak English, a free interpreting service is available at 131 450. Once connected ask to talk to Lifeline on 13 11 14 in the language required.

Shalini Singh

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