The ICLN is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Photo: Christopher Catbagan on Unsplash

The ICLN is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Photo: Christopher Catbagan on Unsplash

Trail crisis line workers respond to record number of calls

Responders provided 450,000 minutes of support, helping 30,000 in 2020, a record since 2012

Crisis line workers in Trail, and across the B.C. Interior, are being recognized for helping more people in crisis than ever before.

In 2020, crisis line responders provided close to 450,000 minutes of empowering support, skilled assessment and crisis de-escalation. This equates to answering the calls from around 30,000 people in the Interior, a record since the service began in 2012.

The jump in minutes of support provided reflects a 47 per cent increase over the previous year.

This critical work of a specially trained body of volunteers was recently recognized by the province.

“Crisis Line Awareness week is a time to recognize the impact of this service and the important commitment of our staff and volunteers to support our communities during the added pressures of the last year,” explains Janet MacNeil, executive director Trail FAIR Society.

Read more: Trail crisis line reports upsurge in calls

Read more: Crisis line seeks volunteers from the Trail area

Trail FAIR Society is one of five partner agencies working in an innovative and collaborative network to answer crisis calls across the region.

Other partner agencies making up the Interior Crisis Line Network (ICLN) include Canadian Mental Health Association branches in the Kootenays, Vernon, Cariboo and Chilcotin as well as the Kelowna Community Resources.

Nearly double the increase in calls speaks to the need for people to feel connected and to reach out to self-manage mental health concerns and challenges ranging from simply feeling overwhelmed with the unknown to high-risk situations including harm towards themselves or others.

“We have been very fortunate to have both staff and volunteer crisis line responders coming forward from Trail to answer this increase in both call volume and complexity,” says Sheila Dudek, coordinator of the Trail ICLN.

The ICLN provides 24/7 phone-based support on four services including the regional crisis line, the provincial mental health line, the provincial suicide line and the national suicide prevention service.

In addition, people can reach out via chat Thursday to Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Given the scope of service provided, crisis line responder training is approximately 70+ hours including online self-study, live training sessions, group observations and one-on-one mentoring to ensure people are fully vetted and supported to respond to crisis situations.

Crisis line responders are trained to work through an evidence-based crisis de-escalation model resulting in 98 per cent of calls not requiring intervention. Crisis line workers effectively de-escalate situations and engage ‘right response’ guiding people to the least invasive/most appropriate intervention when needed.

Working collaboratively within the model resulted in saving 6,276 interventions to 911 and Mental Health Emergency Services and close to 9,000 additional mental health worker visits in 2020. Developing collaborative safe plans that engage internal, personal, community-based and clinical supports have been critical in supporting people in self-managing their wellness during this time.

“Please tell your crisis line responder they literally saved my life last night” was a voicemail left earlier this year on the administrative line, said Dudek.

“Though crisis line responders are trained to de-escalate and support people to reach the most appropriate resource of ‘get through another day’, they don’t always get to hear directly the impact they’ve made so the message was appreciated. It means a lot to our crisis line responders to know they’ve made a difference.”

During COVID, the Interior Crisis Line Network not only answered record number of calls, they transitioned to a state-of-the-art routing technology, joined the national suicide prevention service and shifted to online training. All while navigating pandemic regulations with a commitment to the health and safety of their people and those reaching out for support.

Interior Crisis Line Network can be reached by phone at 1.888.353.2273(CARE), 24/7/365 or by chat at from Thursday to Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Interested in volunteering? Go to or call 1.250.364.2326.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of Trailinteriorbcmental health

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

Just Posted

Image: Rendering of proposed Beaver Siding Train Station/Museum courtesy the RDKB
Virtual town hall coming up for Beaver Valley

Visit the RDKB homepage for details and a link to join the Zoom conversation

Image: Fraser Institute
Prime Ministers and government spending: 2021 Edition

“There are two primary measures to gauge the size of government.”

Image: Arrow Lakes Historical Society
Historic Kootenay hot springs

The hot springs is running with reduced operations to meet government COVID-19 protocols

The 1100-block of Pine Avenue in downtown Trail is closed to traffic this week as crews from Seko Construction install water and sewer service connections for the new gas station slated to open this summer. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Traffic change in downtown Trail this week

The 1100-block of Pine Avenue is closed to vehicles

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Interior Health announces 89 cases of COVID-19 in the region

Currently, there are 900 active cases in the region

St. Joseph School Grade 2 student Zoey Kenny watches as Christopher Yates shows her how to string a new drum using hide from his own cows. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: With good intentions, Nelson school builds Métis drum

The St. Joseph School project is directed by parent Christopher Yates

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there should be no travel, even to the next city over

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

Most Read