Crisis Centre COVID-19 Community Response
Grant Program: North Shore COVID Response Grant
Funds: Donations made by the community to the North Shore COVID Response (now re-worked to the North Shore Emergency Response Fund)
Grant Recipient: Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC
Program Goal: The project objective was to ensure crisis line phone/chat support was available and to answer an increased number of calls and chats due to the impacts of COVID-19. Due to a reduced number of volunteers available, the Centre aimed to hire additional part-time crisis services responders for three months.
Impact: While the world seemed to have stopped in response to COVID-19, nothing stopped in the Crisis Centre call-room and online chat services. Crisis line operations remained the same – the Centre did what it does best: respond to crisis.
Calls increased, but so did response rates. Underneath the cool surface, however, things were changing at a rapid-fire pace as the Centre, who until just a year ago had been using copper wire phones, was quickly adopting new remote call-taking technologies.
Due to physical distancing measures, the Crisis Centre’s call room, run primarily by volunteer call-takers, saw the number of call stations decreased from ten to a maximum of five. Additionally, training and overflow volunteers and staff that usually crowded the adjacent staff room were limited to 2 people. Though the number of physical call-takers decreased, the number of calls increased.
In response, the Crisis Centre team’s ability to answer chats went remote.
These efforts increased the Crisis Centre’s response rate and call-taking capacity.