United Way of Northern B.C. (UWNBC) awarded a $18,000 and $7,500 grant to the Crisis Prevention, Intervention and Information Centre of Northern B.C. for two of its programs – the 24-Hour Crisis Line and the Youth Crisis Line respectively.
The Crisis Centre is the only crisis line serving the entire northern region. It operates 24/7, 365 days a year. Services are free and confidential to everyone.
“We believe it is the right of every individual, in their time of need, to have access to free, confidential, anonymous and non-judgmental peer support and/or information and referrals,” said Sandra Boulianne, Crisis Centre executive director.
The primary role is to provide crisis intervention, suicide prevention, education and confidential peer support. During the last funding cycle, 3,293 callers used this service – mostly for mental health, loneliness, social isolation or long wait lists with counsellors.
People can be in crisis at any time of the day – which is why this service is so vital.
It is important for youth to have access to these services, as many times they may not know where to turn. The fact they are receiving anonymous and confidential peer support from trained crisis line workers can enable them to feel more confident and to reach out further if necessary.
“The chat was very helpful and helped me to calm down tremendously. I would use it again,” said one caller.
UWNBC supports programs and initiatives acting on the root causes of social issues in 22 communities, five regional districts and 86 Aboriginal communities. They do this by supporting research, investing in organizations that deliver programs, advocating for change, and working in partnership with agencies, government, educators, labour, business and community members.