NANAIMO — The Vancouver Island Crisis Line is more popular than ever.
Heather Owen, promotions and community relations coordinator with the line, attributed their rising use to increased awareness campaigns. The provincial initiative Crisis Line Awareness Week ran from Monday, March 27 to 31.
“We're getting out there into the community and talking to people about crisis and calling out when you're feeling overwhelmed.”
Owen has spent the week running workshops, focused on anxiety and self-injury, to promote their efforts.
In the 15 years she's had the role, Owen said they've seen an 800 per cent increase in youth calls and estimated they received 36,000 calls in their 2016-2017 fiscal year ending Friday.
Though many believe the crisis line is designed for those feeling suicidal, according to Owen, suicides make up just 15 per cent of their calls. Mental or emotional concerns count for roughly 50 per cent of their calls.
Owen said crisis can be anything which brings people to the edge, such as the loss of a pet or post-partum depression.
Anyone feeling stressed or in trouble can call the crisis line at any time at 1-888-494-3888. You can also text between 6 and 10 p.m. or use their crisis chat services during the same hours.
Nanaimo News Now