Frequently Asked Questions

CommStrength focuses on community strength, meaning it uses common strength or help that we can offer each other in the community.

Who is CommStrength?

Father John Macpherson is a Russian Orthodox Priest monk who has been serving the community and working with young people for over 20 years. It is his work that is the core of CommStrength, supported by the CommStrength management committee comprising members from the local business community who volunteer their time to assist with fundraising.

How many people has CommStrength helped?

Since it was established in 1994, CommStrength has assisted more than 3,000 young people at risk of suicide – that’s approximately 150 per year! The relationships with many of those vulnerable young people and their families have sustained over the years, building a strong community of support across the Hunter region and beyond.

What support does CommStrength provide?

CommStrength provides help and assistance that is appropriate to the young person’s circumstance.

This assistance typically includes:

  • Counseling;
  • Support through hospitalization;
  • Family mediation; and
  • General assistance to reconnect young people to work and their communities.

How is CommStrength funded?

CommStrength is funded soley through the generosity of the people of Newcastle and Hunter. This allows it to provide independent advice and support to those in need. Each year, several fundraising activities are held to generate income. Our general annual expenditure is approximately $10,000, however the more funds we are able to raise, the more effective and broad reaching we can be.

What does CommStrength do with the funds it receives?

Every dollar that CommStrength receives helps young people who are at risk of suicide, contributing to essential operating expenses. These expenses include mobile and web communications and transport, allowing Father John to contact and travel to where the support needs are in our community. No wages are paid as all work is done voluntarily.

Are donations tax deductible?

Yes. All donations are tax deductible as CommStrength is endorsed by the Commissioner of taxation as a charity.