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Crisis lines: the invisible safety net

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The BC Crisis Line Network, comprised of 10 local crisis centres from around BC, answer calls to 1-800-SUICIDE, 310-6789 Mental Health, and regional distress lines. We collectively have 515 years of experience providing crisis line services in BC communities

We provide lifesaving crisis de-escalation services, suicide risk assessment, and strengths-based collaborative safety planning and follow-up to vulnerable British Columbians across the province.

Some highlights of our work include:

  • Providing 2.5 million minutes of life-saving and life-changing support to British Columbians when they needed it the most
  • Safely de-escalating 99.5% of all calls without the need for police intervention
  • Supporting 2,283 opioid-related calls and over 6,000 addiction contacts
  • Handling 30,771 calls where suicide was the primary or contributing factor

Through our frontline work, we have saved British Columbian taxpayers approximately $10.4 million in hospital and urgent mental health response and $47,891,000 in police attendance*, significantly reducing stress on police and hospital services during a pandemic and ongoing climate-related emergencies.

Our 830+ crisis line volunteers and staff are the invisible safety net, the backbone of 24/7 mental health care, crisis support, and suicide prevention in BC. 

In addition to answering crisis lines in BC, we make outreach calls, follow-up calls, have public access mobile crisis response and substance use teams, offer after-hours support for all mental health services, lead suicide prevention workshops in classrooms and provide suicide postvention support in schools, and we offer suicide prevention training for teachers, police, social workers, nurses and doctors, first responders and other frontline, service agencies.

Together with other agencies, we make up a continuum of care.

October 2021 represents a 111 per cent increase in incoming calls to the provincial mental health line and a 66.9% increase in incoming calls to the provincial suicide line compared to pre-Covid levels. Calls from student-aged callers (ages 5-24) have almost doubled since the start of the pandemic, and 41.1 per cent of those who identify their age when they call a crisis line are seniors.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call:

  • Anywhere in BC 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
  • Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789

Consider registering for the upcoming webinar, Are we Done Yet: Mental Health Challenges at the End of the Year, co-hosted with the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division.


 

*Saved police interventions identified by calls with the primary issues relating to mental health and/or suicide multiplied by 81.5% of calls whereby the caller states/infers contact with the crisis line increased coping multiplied by $465/police contact identified within Vancouver Police Department’s “Our Community in Need” report.