Interior crisis lines got 47% pandemic-uptick in 2020 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Interior crisis lines got 47% pandemic-uptick in 2020

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March 24, 2021 - 8:00 PM

Pandemic pressures in 2020 prompted a marked increase in calls to crisis lines around the Interior.

Crisis line responders across the Interior region provided 450,000 minutes of support, assessment and crisis de-escalation, a 47% increase over 2019 according to a press release from the Interior Crisis Line Network which includes CMHA Kootenays, Kelowna Community Resources, CMHA Vernon, CMHA Cariboo Chilcotin, and Trail F.A.I.R. Society. 

Those involved say it’s a record since the service began in 2012.

“Challenges faced by people range from simply feeling overwhelmed with the unknown to high-risk situations including harm towards themselves or others,” reads the press release.

The Interior Crisis Line Network 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.

Crisis Line Responder training requires more than 70 hours including online self-study, live training sessions, group observations and one-on-one mentoring to ensure people are fully vetted and supported to respond to crisis situations.  

Crisis line responders are trained to work through an evidence-based crisis de-escalation model resulting in 98% of calls not requiring 911 intervention.

Working collaboratively within the model resulted in saving 6,276 interventions to 911 and Mental Health Emergency Services and close to 9,000 additional mental health worker visits in 2020 alone.

Crisis Line Awareness Week is March 22-29.


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