Interior Crisis Line Network


How does it work?

The Interior Crisis Line Network provides 24/7/365 empowering support, skilled assessment, crisis de-escalation, suicide prevention and life-saving intervention to the people in the Interior Region of BC

The network is funded through the Interior Health Authority and established in 2011.  It is an innovative and collaborative approach that networks five local crisis line offices to work together as one cohesive service.

In this way the Interior Crisis Line Network is able to provide consistent and responsive service across the Region, while still providing the added quality of care and sensitivities that comes with locally provided service. 

The five partner sites of the Interior Crisis Line Network are in Cranbrook, Kelowna, Trail, Vernon and Williams Lake.  

Currently, when someone in the Interior calls the line they will be first routed to their local crisis line partner.  If the Crisis Line Worker(s) are busy supporting other callers, their call will then be routed to the other crisis line partners with the intention of reaching an available Crisis Line Worker.  

The call answer rate averages 83% meaning that there are still calls that go unanswered.  The Interior Crisis Line Network partners are engaged in funding requests and volunteer drives to continuously work to improve this rate and ensure people get the support they need, when they need it.  

The Interior Crisis Line Network also supports calls from anyone in the Interior who rings into the provincial suicide line (1-800-SUICIDE) and the provincial mental health support line (310-6789).

In May, 2019, a test-pilot for chat and text access will be launched.


What does C.A.R.E. stand for?

The network is founded on the core principles of C.A.R.E.; 

Confidentiality - Call information is kept confidential within the Interior Crisis Line Network and is only disclosed in cases where there is a risk to health and safety.  An example being in the case of emergency intervention needing to be dispatched to support a caller. 

Accessibility - The service is available 24/7/365 across the Interior Region.  We strive to create an open, non-judgemental service that is safe for all to call.  This is ingrained in the screening, training and ongoing support of the Crisis Line Workers and the management and direction of the service.  

Research - Evidence, research and better practices in suicide prevention, intervention, crisis de-escalation are incorporated in service-delivery protocols and training. 

Empowerment - The goal of the service is to provide truly empowering support by working collaboratively with the caller to build on strengths, identify resources, and create safety plans that are relevant and effective.


How many calls do you answer?

The call volume has doubled since the network was first created in 2011.  

In 2017/18, Crisis Line Workers in the Interior provided; 

  • Life-saving and life-changing support in over 20,000 calls

  • Over a quarter of a million minutes of support including empowering emotional support, effective crisis de-escalation, skilled suicide assessment prevention/intervention

  • Over 40,000 resources linking people to much-needed supports in their local communities

We also know that out of these 20,000 calls 96% of callers responded positively to the empathy provided by their Crisis Line Worker and 92% improved their coping skills during the call requiring fewer interventions.  


What kind of calls do you receive?

The service handles a myriad of calls from those seeking resources in their community to those considering suicide and requiring skilled assessment and intervention.  

In many rural areas, the Interior Crisis Line Network is the only resource available after-hours aside from the Emergency Department.  By reaching out to the crisis line, many people are able to self-manage their mental health, addictions or crisis concerns without needing to engage emergency support. 

We know that one third of people use the service to self-manage their mental health concerns by reviewing or developing their self-care plan rather than escalating and requiring more intrusive interventions.  

Crisis Lines are established to provide short-term emotional support. We do not provide advice or counselling.

Are calls confidential?

Calls are confidential except in situations where there is risk to health and safety at which point additional services or supports may be required to support the health and safety of the caller.

In calls where there is the potential for imminent or present risk, crisis line workers will engage intervention. Wherever possible, we will engage in “least invasive intervention” depending on the services available in the community.

In the situations where a caller is unable/unwilling to provide location, technology is used to support help arriving for them.