The Interior Crisis Line Network has seen an increase in calls throughout the pandemic. (Contributed)

Increase in calls due to pandemic: Interior Crisis Line Network

More and more people are using crisis lines to help cope

World Suicide Prevention Day takes place Sept. 10 to serve as a reminder to keep our eyes open for those who may need a hand during these difficult times.

Asha Croggon, a program director with the Interior Crisis Line Network (ICLN), said the crisis line network, which spans 221 square kilometres within the Interior Health region, has recently received an increase in the number of calls.

“This has been an unprecedented time for all of us, so we’ve seen an increase in our call volume, roughly 30 per cent. Some weeks it’s up to 50 per cent, but there are weeks where it settles down a bit,” Croggon said.

“We’ve also seen an increase in call intensity, which means more 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.”

She said economic uncertainty has put stress on people and coupled with the isolation due to gathering restrictions, it has become too much for some.

Croggon said the increase in crisis calls have a two-fold impact on staff and volunteers.

“One is a real sense of meaning. They do this work because they want to make a difference, they want to show someone that they’re cared for. But on the flip side, there has been bruising of that intention because of fatigue.

“We’re getting such an increase in calls and that is impacting them too. We’re being really attentive around burnout, and we’ve been really attentive around caring for them and encouraging them to debrief after difficult calls and to take time away from the line if they need.”

Every Sept. 10, Croggon said the crisis line network and their partner agencies put together public events to spread awareness of suicide prevention, but that won’t be the case this year.

“Traditionally, we would have a walk and public workshops, but we live in a different time now. The walk is now virtual and information is now being shared online instead,” she said.

For those who may be struggling with stress and trauma, Croggon has a message.

“You matter. You’re not alone, and please reach out for help…help is just a call, whether it’s calling a crisis line or calling a friend or a loved one. People care and speaking to someone can help alleviate all this pressure.”

For more information on the ICLN, visit their website. For more information on virtual events, visit the CMHA Kootenays page.

If you or someone you know is in need of support, call the ICLN at 1-888-353-CARE.

READ MORE: Thousands of students return to schools as new COVID-19 cases emerge


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

suicide

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

Just Posted

Two new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region is at 533

More wildfire smoke to fill the Okanagan

The smoke is coming from wildfires in California but is expected to be much lighter

Documentary to celebrate the Shuswap’s music scene

Local initiative to feature several of the region’s artists

Former Shuswap resident’s book describes how child’s death transforms mother’s life

Destanne Norris to hold book signings in Vernon and Salmon Arm

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Guns seized in relation to southeast Kelowna murder investigation

RCMP seized several firearms from a West Kelowna home on Tuesday

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Okanagan man accused of attacking two young boys back in court

Brian Lamb will remain behind bars until at least Oct. 14

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

Most Read