Pixabay image

Calls to Okanagan crisis line increase for those over 40

Kelowna Community Resources said more middle- and senior-aged residents are calling for help

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, calls to crisis lines continue to climb.

According to Kelowna Community Resources (KCR) crisis line coordinator Michelle Neimes, they haven’t seen a significant increase in call volume between September and October, but the number of calls remains high.

She said there has been a change in the intensity of the calls.

“We are seeing an increased intensity with people self-managing anxiety, isolation, financial and emotional stress,” she said.

In a previous interview, Interior Crisis Line Network (ICLN) program director Asha Croggon said at the start of the pandemic, they saw a 30 per cent increase in call volume, with some weeks reaching a 50 per cent increase.

“We’ve also seen an increase in call intensity, which means people have greater escalations. So definitely, we get more violent calls, more suicide-related calls, and calls related to past sexual trauma and that can be because during a traumatic event such as a global pandemic, it can trigger some of our trauma responses that relate to other experiences in life,” Croggon said.

While there hasn’t been a significant change in call volume, Neimes did confirm that there has been a change in who uses the crisis lines.

“The crisis line is being used by individuals of all ages… but there has been an increase in individuals who are between the ages of 40 and 75.”

Croggon has previously said this is due to the economic uncertainty brought on by pandemic restrictions, as well as isolation due to gathering and visitation restrictions.

Neimes is offering some helpful tips for individuals who may be struggling during this time.

  • Interact safely with others and reach out for phone/online connections; physical distancing doesn’t mean emotional distancing
  • Recognize the stress alarms (increased irritability or sadness, tension in your body, problems remembering or difficulty focusing) and engage in self-care
  • Create a self-care plan (who you’ll connect with, what you’ll do for yourself, where you’ll reach out for more support
  • Call the crisis line to get help working out a self-care plan
  • Be compassionate with yourself and others; be kind to one another and now you are not alone

If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available at 1-888-353-2273.

READ: Increase in calls due to pandemic: Interior Crisis Line Network


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm RCMP officers responded to two public COVID-19 demonstrations held in Salmon Arm on Saturday, Nov. 28. (File photo)
Organizer of Salmon Arm COVID-19 demonstration fined $2,000 by RCMP

Police said some participants weren’t aware of the public health order prohibiting gatherings

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Salmon Arm RCMP say patrons are harassing local businesses over mask requirements. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Police urge respect after Salmon Arm businesses report being harassed over mask rules

Wearing of masks in businesses and public spaces is currently mandated by the province

The video was used for (KGH Foundation - YouTube)
Okanagan filmmaker, poet win at L.A. Film Awards

Spoken word artist Shane Koyczan wrote and filmmaker David Nault produced the commercial

The Salmon Arm Observer’s annual food drive is underway. For donations of one or two bags of non-perishable items, donors receive a gift certificate from one of several participating local merchants. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm merchants, Observer team up for food drive

Gift cards and certificates available for donations of non-perishable items

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Join Rob Dinwoodie and bandmates for a Cowboy Christmas, Dec. 11 and 12 at Vernon and District Performing Arts Center. Seating is cabaret style on the stage for an intimate concert. (Contributed)
North Okanagan cowboys go virtual for Christmas

Cowboy Christmas streamed Dec. 11-25

Vernon is getting in the Christmas spirit with many homes decorating with lights and extras. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Christmas lights tour mapped out by Vernon realtor

More than 20 of the community’s best lit houses make up annual tradition

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Sunny the cat, who jumped out of the truck at the Revelstoke Landfill earlier this month, was quickly reunited with his owners. (Contributed)
Cat returns home with the help of two landfill workers

Sunny jumped out of the truck at the landfill in November

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Most Read