By Oliver Lum
In March, the lives of British Columbians along with the majority of Canada changed. We were asked to “stay home” with self-isolation and quarantine orders put in place to do our part in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
The Crisis Centre was called on to do what we do best – respond to a crisis.
During the pandemic the Centre has seen call volume increase by 26%, handling on average 214 calls per day. Many are first-time callers dealing with a new kind of stress, while others are calling for help handling the impact of COVID on pre-existing mental health challenges. More users have also turned to access our online chat services, specifically those in their mid-30s.
In response to requests for all British Columbians to “stay home,” we temporarily paused our volunteer training program so we could create a safer learning environment while also adhering to the physical distancing protocols. We brought on more staff, and re-launched training in a blended online and onsite format in June.
Our mission and commitment to individuals and communities remain the same. We are there when people need someone to talk to. We are online providing webinars for youth and seniors dealing with change and uncertainty. We are creating innovative collaborations with other agencies to deliver tailored online content, and with hotels and conference centres who can host our in-person training in larger spaces.
More than ever we need each other.
If you or someone you know is struggling and needs someone to talk to, we are here for you and can be reached at:
Vancouver Coastal Regional Distress Line: 604-872-3311
Anywhere in BC 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789
Sunshine Coast/Sea to Sky: 1-866-661-3311
Online Chat Service for Youth: www.YouthInBC.com (Noon to 1am)
Online Chat Service for Adults: www.CrisisCentreChat.ca (Noon to 1am)
A special thanks to all the organizations and individuals who have given a little extra financial support as we respond to the current health emergency.
COVID Specific Grants
- United Way Lower Mainland
- Vancouver Foundation
- West Vancouver Community Foundation
- Canadian Tire
- RBC Foundation
- 100 Youth Who Care (West Vancouver Community Foundation)