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BC government boosts mental health crisis lines

“The last two years we’ve seen a 30-40% increase in our call volumes,”

That’s from Sandra Boulianne with the Crisis Centre for Northern BC.

Today (Friday), the provincial government announced the Crisis Line Enhancement Project will receive an additional 2.35 million dollars in annual funding.

Boulianne is pleased some of the upgrades will include increased crisis line capacity and streamlined training for call responders.

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“We are just very grateful that we can rise to meet the demand and continue to serve British Columbians in a better way just with increased capacity.”

“Crisis Centres are the lowest barrier form of mental health supports and historically we have been the cheapest and that is thanks to the many, many volunteers.”

Planned enhancements include increased capacity to answer calls, upgraded technology, and streamlined training for all call takers.

The Provincial Health Service Authority will work with partners and providers over the coming months to transition to a single-service contract for each health authority.

The coordination of crisis lines under PHSA will come into effect in this spring, and new contracts with service providers will be in place in the fall.

More than $1.6 million in additional one-time funding has been provided to crisis line centres since July of 2020 to help crisis lines improve their call capacity during the pandemic.

The Crisis Centre for Northern BC has about 50 volunteers.

The number to call is 1-888-562-1214.

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