Are you having a bad day? Worried about a loved one? Stressed or anxious? Having thoughts of suicide? Feeling isolated? Our crisis line responders are here for you 24/7 if you need someone to talk to. All of our support is confidential and non-judgmental. You are not alone. 24/7 phone support is available at 1-888-353-2273.
- About the Crisis Line
- Online Chat Support
- Steps to Get Help
- How does it work?
- Upcoming Crisis Line Trainings
- Crisis Line Volunteer Application
- Crisis Line Volunteer Fees
- Dispelling Crisis Line Myths
About the Crisis Line
The Vernon site of the Interior Crisis Line has provided free crisis support to our community and the BC interior since 1975. We offer 24/7 telephone support and chat support Thursday – Sunday from 5 pm-9 pm. You don’t need to be in crisis to reach out. You are not alone.
The crisis line program supports callers from within British Columbia via the following services:
• The Interior Crisis Line Network – 1-888-353-2273
• The Provincial Mental Health Line – 310-6789 (no area code needed)
• The Provincial Suicide Line – 1-800-784-2433 (SUICIDE)
From across Canada via:
The National Suicide Line – 1-833-456-4566 (service is available anywhere in Canada)
Online Chat Support
Picking up the phone can be challenging and uncomfortable and we get that. We encourage you to use our online Crisis Chat. Crisis Chat is available from 5pm – 9pm Thursday through Sunday.
How does Crisis Chat work?
Crisis Chat serves anyone located in the Interior of British Columbia, in any type of crisis, providing access to free emotional support and referrals when appropriate via a confidential chat service. View our terms and conditions here.
Steps to Get Help
- Click on our green “Online” image located above (purple when offline) during our hours of operation to launch a chat.
- A trained volunteer Crisis Responder will receive the chat and respond through our secure, confidential online platform.
- The volunteer Crisis Responder will offer empowering emotional support to help you through the crisis.
Crisis Chat is available from 5pm – 9pm Thursday through Sunday.
How does it work?
- Before speaking to a Crisis Responder you will be invited to share some basic information (you can chose to chat anonymously).
- Depending on the volume of incoming interactions you may experience a wait to be connected with a Crisis Responder.
- The Crisis Responder is a trained volunteer not a counsellor, thus we are not able to provide advice.
- Crisis Responders only have one conversation at a time, so it is important to respond in a timely manner or your conversation may be ended.
- When you are connected with a Crisis Responder they will introduce themselves and invite you to share your story.
- The Crisis Responder will help you sort through your feelings by asking questions, empathizing, and actively listening.
- When the conversation is over, you’ll receive an optional survey about your experience. This helps us help you and others like you!
All calls are confidential and private unless there is a risk of harm to yourself or someone else. Also, we have a legal duty to report any actual or suspected child abuse or neglect.
Upcoming Crisis Line Trainings
Volunteering on the crisis line is a rewarding experience. We offer an opportunity to learn new and useful skills as well as an opportunity to be involved in a “front line” helping environment. Many people find our program very useful for developing marketable skills and for exploring education options. The demand on our service is growing substantially and working on our crisis lines is a way to make a real difference in the community.
“I originally joined the Crisis Line because members of my family had struggled with mental health and thoughts of suicide and I wanted to make sure that there would be somewhere people like them could turn to in times of need. I thought it was a good way to give back to my community, but I didn’t expect how much I would personally gain from it. In addition to training on mental health issues and a sense of fulfillment from supporting others, I feel I have become a much better listener in my personal and professional lives, I have gained skills in motivational interviewing, I feel more calm in stressful situations, and I feel so much more grateful for all of the wonderful people I am lucky to have in my life. I have rarely worked with a more supportive and dedicated team of staff and volunteers. It is a privilege to be trusted to support callers in their darkest moments, and one I am grateful to have”. –Current volunteer (2020)
Crisis line training is done virtually.
The next training sessions will be held:
COHORT D 2022
Saturday, October 15th
Sunday, October 16th
Saturday October 22nd
Sunday, October 23rd
Saturday October 29th
Sunday, October 30th
Saturday November 5th
Sunday, November 6th
November 11-13 off, Remembrance Day
Saturday November 19th
Sunday, November 20th
Saturday November 26th
Sunday, November 27th
Saturday December 3rd
Sunday, December 4th
**Training sessions above are from 10:00am – 2:00pm
December 5th-9th Technology Sessions (Times to be determined)
December 10th-31st Audits (Times to be determined)
*There are additional training requirements including self-led and peer-study that will be scheduled individually*
You can apply to volunteer by filling it out the Crisis Line Volunteer application form. A crisis line program staff person will contact you within three business days.
Crisis Line Volunteer Application
The demand on our service is growing substantially and working on our crisis lines is a way to make a real difference in the community. Each time you answer the phone or respond to a chat, you know you’ve made a difference.
You can apply to volunteer by filling it out the Crisis Line Volunteer application form. A crisis line program staff person will contact you within three business days. If you would like more information please call 250-542-3114 ext. 236
Crisis Line Volunteer Fees
Please note: We ask that you do not submit payment until you have connected with a Crisis Line Program Coordinator.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Crisis Line Responder. Volunteering with the Crisis Line is a tangible way to give back to your community by filling a very real need in the lives of others through listening and providing empowering support. Each time you answer the phone or respond to a chat, you know you’ve made a difference.
There is a $95.00 training fee. The training fee contributes to the costs associated with the training program.
The deposit fees will be refunded once the equipment is returned. The deposit fee is never a barrier to volunteering, please let us know if this is a concern for you.
Dispelling Crisis Line Myths
Myth #1: I must be experiencing thoughts of suicide to reach out to a crisis line.
Anyone experiencing a crisis can reach out to the ICLN 24/7 for support from trained crisis line responders.
Crisis is different for everyone and could include things like isolation, domestic violence, relationship issues, concern for a someone else, bereavement, anxiety, self-harm, or other mental illness-related concerns.
There are two services available in BC dedicated to suicide prevention that are answered within our site: 1-800-SUICIDE and the National service TALK Suicide (1-833-456-4566)
Myth #2: If I mention that I’m suicidal, they’ll send the police to my location.
The goal of crisis line services is to work collaboratively with service users to de-escalate and ensure safety.
Emergency services (i.e. police) are called in a very small percentage of calls and most of these calls are made with the consent of the service user. Emergency services may be called without consent when there is an imminent risk of harm to the service user and they are unable or unwilling to plan for safety.
Police are required to attend mental health related calls prior to paramedics to ensure the situation is safe.
Myth #3: Crisis lines are only for emergencies
Crisis looks and feels different for everyone. If you are going through a hard time, reach out!
Crisis lines are not a substitute for therapy, emergency, or professional care. However, we may be able to connect you with helpful resources in your community.
Myth #4: Crisis Lines are only for adult service users
Although there are crisis lines specifically designed for children and youth (i.e. Kids Help phone), Interior Crisis Line responders are trained to support people of all ages. That includes seniors too!
Myth # 5: If I call who knows that I called?
When you call into the Interior Crisis Line your conversation is kept confidential unless you are risk to yourself or others. Responders are trained to respect the privacy and confidentiality of all service users.
Myth #6: I can only reach out to the Interior Crisis Line via phone call.
You can also connect with the Interior Crisis Line via online chat Thursday – Sunday from 5-9pm. You can access Crisis Chat here.
So, what does happen when you reach out to the Interior Crisis Line?
When you call the Interior Crisis Line (1-888-353-2273) you will hear an automated message with additional information while your call is being connected to an available crisis line responder. You may hear some music while you are waiting for a crisis line responder. Once you are connected the crisis line responder will listen, provide emotional support and resources when appropriate.
It is free to reach out to us.
Our crisis line responders are trained and caring individuals from our communities who are there to help you work through your crisis. Most of our crisis line responders are volunteers. No matter who you reach, you’ll be in great hands!
If you are reaching out for online chat support during service hours, a trained crisis line responder will receive a notification and respond shortly. The crisis line responder will listen, help you de-escalate your situation, and if needed connect provide you with other resources.