The Vernon Crisis Line has been operating since 1975, supporting people in distress in our community. In 2016, the Crisis Line answered over 5500 calls with most callers looking for confidential and empowering emotional support. The Vernon Crisis Line is also there for people who are having thoughts of suicide; however, in 2016 only 5.3% of calls were suicide related.
A crisis is different for everyone. The Crisis Line provides support and resources for many forms of distress. “People call the crisis line for a wide range of reasons. This could include concern for a friend struggling with thoughts of suicide, issues with finances, family or housing to name a few. A crisis is not the event that happens to us, but rather our reaction to the event. Thus, what constitutes a crisis is very unique to the individual. We insure that each caller receives non-judgemental and empowering emotional support, as well as information and resources when appropriate,” said Alyssa Christmas, Crisis Line Manager.
Facing budget shortfalls, the Crisis Line was overjoyed this summer when an anonymous donor made an extraordinary gift of $50,000 to ensure this essential service remains in our community.
“In the last 6 years, the calls to the Crisis Line have doubled, yet our volunteer numbers are on the decline. This has posed a significant budget challenge with more staff working on the phones to ensure no call goes unanswered,” said Julia Payson, CMHA Executive Director. “Due to the astonishing generosity this anonymous donor we can continue to offer this essential service, and there is time for increased volunteer recruitment, as well as adjustments to our funding levels to accommodate the need for both staff and volunteers to answer Crisis Line calls.”
CMHA is currently recruiting Crisis Line volunteers for this unique and rewarding opportunity. By answering the phone and providing an empathetic ear you can help change someone’s life. Volunteers receive 40 hours of exceptional training, ensuring they have the skills and confidence to provide the best possible support for callers.
“I have been volunteering with the Crisis Line for almost 15 years. I cannot begin to express the value this volunteer experience has had in my life. Every time I answer a call, I know I am helping someone at a time they really need to have someone just listen and understand. If you are looking for one of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities in our community, I encourage you to join the Crisis Line team,” Crisis Line Volunteer.
The next training intake for volunteers is in September. Please visit www.peopleinneed.ca for more information or call 250-545-8074.