Vancouver, BC – The BC Crisis Line Network has been appointed to the BC Health Coalition steering committee. Stacy Ashton, the Network’s chairperson, will represent the Network on the committee.
“We are thrilled with this appointment as it will allow the Network to continue the collaborative work of ensuring British Columbians have the least restrictive, least costly approach to respond to mental health crisis and suicide intervention,” says Ashton. “We look forward to working with other steering committee members as we continue our work proposing change in the Province’s response to mental health crisis care and suicide intervention.”
The Network has been proposing a model for mental health crisis response throughout the Province that puts crisis phone lines at the forefront of responding to folks in crisis with support that is trauma-informed and available anytime and anywhere.
Crisis responders work with callers to create consensual collaborative safety plans. Where in-person response is needed, it is far easier to gain consent to a non-coercive visit from a mental health team than an armed police unit – and from a budget perspective, far less expensive. This proposed and integrated system includes community-based peer responders such as the Canadian Mental Health Association of BC’s Peer Assisted Care Teams (PACT). Police response can be deployed where there is a specific safety or criminal concern but the proposed system does not depend on the police to provide emergency care for all people in crisis.
The BC Crisis Line Network comprises ten regional crisis centres across BC, collectively answering 1800SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) and 310Mental Health Support (310-6789). The Network operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provides lifesaving crisis intervention, suicide risk assessment, and strengths-based collaborative safety planning and follow-up to British Columbians in crisis.
The BC Health Coalition champions a strong public health care system that is available to all British Columbians when they need it. The Coalition operates as a democratic, inclusive and consensus-based community of individuals and organizations that spans across the province. They advocate for making evidence-based improvements to the public health care system, stimulating public education on health care issues, and driving positive change to our health care system through campaigns across the province.
The appointment took place this year at the Coalition’s Annual General Meeting. In addition to the Network, the following other organizations will also be represented on the Steering Committee:
- BC Association of Community Health Centres
- BC Federation of Labour
- BC Federation of Students
- BC General Employees’ Union
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC
- Canadian Union of Public Employees – BC
- Community Action Initiative
- Council of Canadians – BC
- Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations
- Health Sciences Association
- Hospital Employees’ Union
- United Food and Commercial Workers 1518
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out:
- Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (no area code required)
- Anywhere in BC 1800SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
Chairperson, BC Crisis Line Network
Director, Development & Communications