In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) and the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) are sharing resources and information to support people across B.C. who are in crisis. Those who may be struggling with a substance use or mental health challenge may feel alone or they have no one to reach out to, but there is help available to you whether it’s for yourself or a loved one.
CLABC provides a structure for its member crisis lines, all of which are under contract with Regional Health Authorities. This structure enables the sharing of experience, resources and information to support quality services that empower people to cope with crisis, distress and suicide.
As part of its mandate, CLABC has developed two networks to enhance immediate access to 24-hour crisis line services for anyone in the province with mental health and/or substance use concerns. These include 1800SUICIDE, developed for individuals considering suicide or for those who are concerned about someone who may be, and 310Mental Health Support (310-6789), a service to provide emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health. These toll-free numbers use routing technology to direct calls to the nearest network crisis line partner. During times when demand for service is high, calls are automatically re-routed to other crisis lines, thereby increasing response capacity. There are currently ten individual crisis centres across the province that respond to calls on one or both of the provincial network lines.
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is responsible for providing funding and oversight for the two provincial networks, and a Provincial Advisory Committee has been established to provide oversight, guidance and strategic direction, and to facilitate enhanced integration and alignment of people, processes, structures and culture within the Provincial Crisis Line Network. The Advisory Committee is led by BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS), with membership from the regional health authorities, the local crisis centres, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Key action areas include a review of the network routing process, standardization of data collection and contract language and an implementation plan for the transition to single number access to crisis line services across the province.
Demand for crisis line services in BC has continued to increase steadily in recent years. In 2015-2016, over 8,000 calls were answered on 1800SUICIDE, and over 25,000 calls were answered on the 310MentalHealth Support line. For more information on crisis line services in BC, click here to view the CLABC 2015/2016 annual report.
If you have a mental health or substance use concern, or are worried about someone who may be in crisis, please call 310-6789.The call is free of charge from anywhere in the province (no area code required).