(Pixabay)

(Pixabay)

Crisis lines in Interior reached record number of calls in 2020: report

Responders provided 450,000 minutes of support, helping 30,000 in 2020, a record since 2012

A group of individuals in B.C.’s Interior are being celebrated for helping more people in crisis than ever before.

In the Interior last year, 47 per cent more people called crisis lines for support, setting a record year of calls for Interior Health Crisis Line Responders.

In 2020, crisis line responders provided 450,000 minutes of support, skilled assessment and crisis de-escalation to roughly 30,000 people in the Interior, a record since Interior Health began funding the services in 2012.

This jump in service, the group says, speaks to an increased need for people to feel connected and seek support regarding mental health concerns.

Callers reported talking with some people who simply felt overwhelmed with the unknown and others in more high-risk situations involving harm to themselves or others.

To mark Crisis Line Awareness Week (March 22 to 29), KCR Community Resources (KCR) in Kelowna extended their thanks to those who pick up the phone.

“We are very fortunate to have an incredible team of committed volunteers in the Central Okanagan and a record number of people coming forward to volunteer to meet the increase in both call volume and intensity,” said KCR family services manager Christine Hawkins.

KCR is one of five partner agencies that work in an innovative and collaborative network to answer crisis calls across the region. Another is the Interior Crisis Line Network (ICLN), which provides 24/7 phone-based support on four services, including the regional crisis line, the provincial mental health line, the provincial suicide line and the national suicide prevention service.

According to the ICLN, the de-escalation model in which crisis line responders are trained results in 98 per cent of calls not requiring 911 intervention.

In 2020, this saved 7,276 intervention calls to 911 and almost 9,000 mental health-worker visits.

“Crisis Line Responders are skilled and caring people who willingly donate four or more hours a week to answer calls and to work collaboratively with people who are struggling in that moment,” said Central Okanagan ICLN site coordinator Michelle Nelmes.

As calls increased in 2020, so did the response from people they helped.

“’Please tell your Crisis Line Responder they literally saved my life last night,’ was a voicemail left earlier this year on the administrative line at ICLN. Our Crisis Line Responders know they are making a difference, but hearing a specific message like that lets them know that what they do really matters,” Nelmes said.

If you’re in need of support, the Interior Crisis Line Network can be reached at 1-888-353-2273. Those interested in volunteering can go to interiorcrisisline.com or call 1-250-763-8008, ext 112.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Emergency calls

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tala MacDonald, a 17-year-old student at Mount Sentinel Secondary who is also a volunteer firefighter, has won the $100,000 Loran Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
West Kootenay student wins $100K scholarship

Tala MacDonald is one of 30 Canadians to receive the Loran Scholarship

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Kristian Camero and Jessica Wood, seen here, co-own The Black Cauldron with Stephen Barton. The new Nelson restaurant opened earlier this month while indoor dining is restricted by the province. Photo: Tyler Harper
A restaurant opens in Nelson, and no one is allowed inside

The Black Cauldron opened while indoor dining is restricted in B.C.

These two city-owned houses on Railway Avenue in the Railtown district will be sold. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
City of Nelson will sell two derelict houses in Railtown

Purchasers will be responsible for demolition and slope stability issues

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Most Read