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Crisis lines kept answering calls across BC during outage

Crisis lines across British Columbia continued to provide life-saving crisis support and suicide intervention during the recent Rogers service outage, while other services, including the national suicide prevention line and 911, could not.

“We are proud to work as a network of crisis lines across British Columbia,” said Tabitha Geraghty from Chimo Community Services. “While many other emergency services were unable to operate, our crisis lines, as part of the BC Crisis Line Network, continued to support our communities when mental health crisis was heightened. The service outage may have been an inconvenience for some, but it produced heightened anxiety and fear for others. The loss of connectivity to emergency service dispatch or a loved one who may have needed emergency support created greater awareness of the vulnerability of centralized crisis response systems.”

The BC Crisis Line Network, comprised of 10 local crisis centres from around BC, answer calls to 1-800-SUICIDE, 310-6789 Mental Health, and regional distress lines. The centres provide lifesaving crisis de-escalation services, suicide risk assessment, and strengths-based collaborative safety planning and follow-up.

In addition to supporting individuals during the recent Rogers outage, crisis lines have stayed up through recent floods, deadly heatwaves, forest fires, and exceptional cold. Our crisis service responder volunteers and staff aid British Columbians with information about emergency shelters and services and ensure people are heard, supported and safe. 

“Our job as crisis lines is to support people when the level of pain and distress they are experiencing outweighs the effectiveness of their own resources and coping strategies,” says Asha Croggon, who oversees the Interior Crisis Lines Network. “This can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time.”

Just one phone call with a responder from one of the BC crisis lines can turn things around for someone in crisis. The crisis responder can help the caller get clarity about their situation, map out their resources, and — when they’re ready — make a plan for the next steps, all while offering warm and compassionate support.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out:

  • Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (no area code required)

  • Anywhere in BC 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433

  • Online Chat Service for Youth: www.YouthInBC.com (Noon to 1am)

  • Online Chat Service for Adults: www.CrisisCentreChat.ca (Noon to 1am)