The Vancouver Island Crisis Line offers 24-hour crisis line service to Vancouver Island, the islands of the Georgia Strait, and the mainland communities between Powell River and Rivers Inlet, as defined by Vancouver Island Health Authority. It operates 365 days a year.
Crisis Line Information and Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when I call the crisis line?
We are here to listen and to help. When you call the crisis line, you will hear a non-judgemental caring voice on the other end of the line. We want to understand how you are feeling and what has happened to cause you to call. We are here for short-term emotional support. We will ask callers whether they feel suicidal if it pertains to the call. We hope to leave you with a plan on how to manage the concerns that led you to call us and give you appropriate referrals if wanted.
Are calls confidential?
All call content remains confidential within the Crisis Society. Our confidentiality policy states that we will neither confirm nor deny whether someone has called the crisis line. All information provided by a caller, including names and telephone numbers, remains private and confidential. Crisis line personnel may monitor or listen to calls for training or quality assurance purposes only.
We exist to help people, so if you disclose that you intend to kill or harm yourself or another person, or that a child or youth is being abused, we demonstrate our concern for the person in danger. In these situations, you are strongly encouraged to seek professional help and to ensure the safety of yourself or others. Crisis Line Workers will do their best to prevent suicide and homicide and to get help for children and youth who have been or in danger of being abused. Actions taken may include calling emergency services and/or reporting pertinent identifying information to appropriate agencies who can intervene on behalf of the person in danger.
Do you have Caller ID?
If callers are unable or unwilling to act to ensure their own or someone else’s safety, we use call display and caller ID technology to assist us.
I’m worried that someone I know may be feeling suicidal.
Read the warning signs to suicide, defined by the acronym IS PATH WARM, on this website. You can also call the Crisis Line for support and information about assessing the risk and talking to, or getting help for, the person about whom you are concerned. If appropriate, we will offer to call the person who concerns you. Such contacts are made with sensitivity. When we do initiate contact with a third party, our confidentiality policy is in place. The Crisis Society cannot inform you of the content of the call-out to the party of concern.
Do many people call the Crisis Line?
Yes. During the 2010 fiscal year, the Crisis Line received 31,382 calls from people who were in crisis or were requiring emotional support.
Will my calls always be answered by the same person?
No. We have between 40 and 60 volunteers and 12 staff who answer our crisis line. Calls are answered on a first-come, first-served basis. Depending on call volume and whether all crisis line workers on shift are already helping callers, you may be transferred to voicemail, which invites callers to leave their names and phone numbers if they are in emotional distress and would like a return call. Voicemail messages are responded to in the order that they are received before further incoming calls are answered. Our system is set up so that a caller rarely experiences a busy signal, but if that were to happen, we would hope that the person would call back within a few minutes.