Thilini Perera has been at the helm of LifeLine International for almost a year as the inaugural CEO, having played a lead role in LifeLine International’s incorporation in 2020.
Working with Lifeline Australia for more than decade, she served as the acting CEO, Executive Director of Strategy and Stakeholder Relations and Head of Corporate Governance before her appointment to LifeLine International last year.
Thilini said she was extremely proud of the work done by helplines and particularly the LifeLine International network across the globe to step up to meet the demand for crisis support and deliver support to tens of thousands of people particularly during the pandemic.
“Suicide affects us all – nearly every community is touched by it, and it’s preventable.”
“Helplines offer support that is accessible and confidential, particularly where stigma may prevent people from seeking support in person,” Thilini said.
“Our members are working on the frontlines to support people every day, and LifeLine International provides them the opportunity to contribute to global change while continuing to focus on meeting important local needs.
“I look forward to working with our Members to identify global trends in suicide prevention, learn from the collective experience of our network, and advocate for change in a way that is informed by frontline experience.”
Thilini said she was excited to work with the LifeLine International network to develop and promote innovative ways to deliver suicide prevention support.
“Phone support was revolutionary when Lifeline was founded in 1963, and with new technologies there are new ways to proactively reach people when they are at risk and connect with people where they are at,” she said.
“It’s about providing human connection to save lives, and there are so many different ways we can harness a connected world to do that in new ways.”
Thilini’s priorities for her first year have been laying a foundation for the organisation’s future success and early development of a global movement to decriminalise suicide.
“Not many people know that in more than 20 countries across the world, suicide is still a crime. Disincentivisation through criminalisation puts people attempting suicide at greater risk by restricting access to seek help for an illegal act. Where suicide is illegal, there is also a lack of necessary infrastructure to better prevent suicide and support people in crisis.”
“We will work with our members to be a thought leader and influential contributor to public discourse on suicide prevention as a global public health priority. LifeLine International will work with our Network and key global partners to ensure that everyone, everywhere can access crisis support and suicide prevention services support free of stigma. ”
To meet the full LifeLine International leadership team, or to learn more about our key focus areas, head over to the About Us page.