Together We Give Hope

Response to the Illicit Drug Toxicity and Overdose Crisis Report Recommendations

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Media Release

November 1, 2022

Vancouver, BC – Today’s release of the Closing Gaps, Reducing Barriers: Expanding the Response to the Toxic Drug and Overdose Crisis report by the BC Select Standing Committee on Health marked a decisive step taken by the Provincial Government toward a more effective plan to combat the deadly and ongoing toxic drug crisis.

We are specifically heartened by the Committee’s consideration of the following:

  • Engaging crisis lines and crisis support services to provide wraparound supports such as follow-up calls after a toxic drug-related event and at discharge from detox and recovery programs; and
  • Supporting the recommendation of the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act to integrate mental health within 911 call options, taking a health-first approach to addiction and toxic drug crisis.

The Committee recommends improving trauma-informed mental health care, providing stable funding to non-profits, and improving public awareness, which relate to the work of crisis lines across BC.

“Crisis lines across BC are thrilled to see recommendations that integrate our province-wide, 24 hours a day services into the continuum of care for folks suffering from the toxic drug and overdose crisis and addictions,” says Stacy Ashton, chairperson of the BC Crisis Line Network. “Crisis is layered and needs the individualized, collaborative, trauma-informed approach we use to help people find their own way through.”

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 vulnerable British Columbians.

The BC Crisis Line Network applauds the Select Standing Committee on Health for making these recommendations that will help protect and care for British Columbians and looks forward to working with the Provincial Government and all other stakeholders to make these recommendations a reality.

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

Media Contacts

Stacy Ashton, Chairperson for the BC Crisis Line Network; Crisis Centre of BC
– Vancouver Coastal Health Authority Region
Thaddée Bergler, Fraser Health Crisis Line
– Fraser Health Authority Region
Asha Croggon, Interior Crisis Lines Network
– Interior Health Authority Region
Elizabeth Newcombe, Vancouver Island Crisis Society
– Vancouver Island Health Authority Region
Riley Skinner, Northern BC Crisis Centre
– Northern Health Authority Region

Additional Contact

Jeffrey Preiss
Director of Development and Communications
Crisis Centre of BC