Albury-Wodonga Lifeline put out the call for crisis supporters and the community answered.
Inspired by heart-warming insights from current volunteers and in the aftermath of devastating bushfires, the organisation received an "outstanding" response to a recent information session to recruit volunteers, according to its manager of crisis support services Stacy Read.
About 30 people attended the event at Albury Library Museum on February 8 and from that Lifeline has already received nine applications for crisis support roles.
Ms Read said it was an overwhelming response by people from all walks of life including university students, parents and retirees.
"The majority of people had heard about the session through The Border Mail and were really inspired by the experiences of current crisis supporters Janet Waite and Dan Beckwith.
"A lot of questions were around the commitment required and what was involved in the initial training, which is four hours every Saturday for two months.
"(Once training is completed) the ongoing commitment is three shifts of four hours every month."
In the current bushfire recovery climate, the need for community support is critical.
Nationally, Lifeline has reported a 10 per cent increase in calls since December (some days spiking at a 14 per cent jump) with most originating from areas affected by the bushfires.
The Federal Government announced $1.5 million in funding for '13HELP'- a new dedicated Lifeline phoneline for people in bushfire-affected communities that should be up and running by February 17.
Research after the Black Saturday fires that showed the persistence of mental health problems five years after the fires make it clear that mental health support planning for disasters needs to be in place for the long term, according to Lifeline.
The funding will enable Lifeline to offer specific support to local communities for up to 12 months.
The bushfire response line will operate separately to the 13 11 14 hotline.
In addition the Albury-Wodonga Lifeline service, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in May, will also offer psychological first aid to communities impacted by bushfires, according to Ms Read who will attend training in Melbourne at the end of February.
- Applications to become a volunteer are open until February 17 - phone Stacy Read on 0432 533 554 for details or to enquire about psychological first aid for your community.
- If you, or a person you care for, is in need of support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or chat via text on 0477 13 11 14 (6pm - midnight) or online atlifeline.org.au (7pm - midnight AEDT).