By Lee Hunter, General Manager, TikTok Australia and New Zealand

At TikTok, the wellbeing of our community and wider society is always at the heart of what we do. The last 18 months have been challenging for all of us. Lockdowns, being separated from our loved ones, the upheaval of our normal routines and personal hardships have had an impact on the mental wellbeing of so many Australians.

We have seen our community tell their stories about #mentalhealth and been inspired by the way people come together on TikTok to share their own experiences and find connection with others. From raw reflections, to kind comments and hashtags of support, TikTok is a community that cares for each other.

Through our partnership with Lifelife Australia, a national charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services, we know that COVID-19 is taking a toll on our mental health. The service recorded its highest ever number of calls in a single day on August 20, the most in 58 years of operation. Throughout the pandemic, their highly trained volunteers have been there 24/7 for anyone who needs them. But as lockdown continues across much of Australia, the service is under huge pressure.

In times of crisis, the support offered by organisations like Lifeline is more crucial than ever. The charity is currently raising much needed funds to train 300 additional crisis hotline volunteers, so they can keep up with the unprecedented demands for their life-saving services. As part of these efforts, this weekend Lifeline will be hosting a series of star-studded fundraising events on TikTok and we're proud to be helping them bring LIFELINE LIVEFEST to our community.

The unmissable weekend of live streamed fundraisers will offer some much needed entertainment, especially to Australians still in lockdown and give people on TikTok an opportunity to help make a difference. Running on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 August on TikTok, LIFELINE LIVEFEST will feature exclusive performances from some of Australia's hottest music acts. 12 time ARIA-award-winning superstar Delta Goodrem will perform an intimate live show and international sensation, DJ Tigerlily will take us back to the dance floor with a banging DJ set.

💃 How to catch the LIFELINE LIVEFEST events on TikTok:💃

  • Saturday 28th August, 7.00pm- 8.00pm AEST - DJ Tigerlily | via TikTok          @djtigerlily
  • Sunday, 29th August, 7.00pm - 8.00pm AEST - Delta Goodrem | via TikTok @deltagoodrem

We're always heartened by the selfless steps our community take to help each other, and LIFELINE LIVEFEST will be another way people on TikTok can make a positive impact on the lives of others. During the live streamed events, members of our community can pledge their support to helping Lifeline urgently train more crisis hotline volunteers, and to kick-off the fundraising, we're donating $185,000 towards this goal.

Working with Lifeline to bring LIFELINE LIVEFEST to TikTok builds on our partnership with the charity, which includes re-directing in-app searches for suicide or self-harm related content to Lifeline's crisis hotline and sharing resources on our Safety Centre to support those who may be struggling, or know someone who is. We are deeply committed the mental health and the wellbeing of our community and will continue to invest in technology, resources and partnerships that support these priorities. With World Suicide Prevention Day just around the corner, together we can kick-start a bigger conversation about mental wellbeing and help support the organisations providing critical services to people all over Australia.

Here is what Lifeline and the LIFELINE LIVEFEST artists had to say:

“Lifeline’s volunteers were already working harder than ever before after the 2019 bushfires, then the pandemic pushed the demand for our crisis supporters into overdrive. Lifeline expects to receive 1.2 million calls this year, 250,000 more calls than in 2019. This month alone we received almost 80,000 calls from Australians in crisis, more than 30 per cent more than in the same period before the pandemic. It’s the support of the community and through partnerships like this one with TikTok that we’re able to ease the pressure on our volunteers, answer more calls than and make sure any Australian in crisis can reach out 24/7." - John Brogden, Lifeline Australia Chair

“So many people are going through a really hard time right now and it’s important to me to let people know that they are not alone. I am happy to be a part of this worthy initiative and look forward to bringing some joy and positivity through my LIVE performance on TikTok." - Delta Goodrem

"I am really excited to be a part of the LIFELINE LIVEFEST event on TikTok to raise awareness and funds for Lifeline Australia. While social activity may be restricted for many Australians, it's a blessing that we are still able to stay connected through technology. The livestream I'm hosting will allow people to experience the joy that live music brings, and will hopefully open conversations up about mental health and raise much needed funds. With all the uncertainty and chaos in the world, there has never been a more important time to check in with yourself as well as your friends and family. It is crucial for others to know that thanks to Lifeline, you won't ever have to go through your darkest moments alone." - DJ Tigerlily

If you or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed we encourage you to connect with Lifeline and speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours/ 7 days).