(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

Photo: pixabay.com
Morning Start: Why do dogs like squeaky toys?

Your morning start for Tuesday, April 20, 2021

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

A new non-profit after school program starts in Revelstoke. The Revelstoke Afterschool Society focuses on spending time outside. school (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Columbia Basin Trust doles out funds for child care providers

Sixteen Revelstoke providers received money

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man drowned while out swimming near the Peach and the children statue in Penticton on Monday, April 19, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton man drowns swimming in Okanagan Lake

A witness brought him to shore and performed CPR but the man later died in hospital

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The river channel north of Osoyoos Lake where a man and his dog were rescued on April 19. (Google Maps)
Man and dog rescued from South Okanagan river channel

The man had driven his Jeep into the river off of the dike roadway near Osoyoos Lake

Jasmyn Yakura’s 2004 Chevy Aveo ended up going off Cosens Bay Road Sunday, April 18, with her behind the wheel, and coming to rest down a steep cliff. Yakura suffered only minor injuries. She was helped back to the road by a friend travelling behind her when the car left the road. (Yakura family photo)
North Okanagan driver credits seatbelt with saving life

Jasmyn Yakura, 17, survived after car went off Cosens Bay Road over a cliff, flipping ‘five or six times or more’

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Most Read