Crisis Line Association of B.C. says there has been a noticeable increase in calls to crisis lines on Vancouver Island.

Amanda’s fate gets Island teens talking

'Teens seem to be more aware that there are resources out there'

In the wake of the suicide of Grade 10 Coquitlam student Amanda Todd Vancouver Island teens are increasing their use of crisis line resources.

Heather Owen, Community Relations Coordinator of the Crisis Line Association of B.C., says there has been a noticeable increase in calls to crisis lines on the Island. “It’s like a light turning on,” she says. “Teens seem to be more aware that there are resources out there and that it is a good thing when they put those resources in play.”

Owen says that teens using social media have tended to be there for their friends but not stray out of their teen networks to seek help. Amanda has changed that, she says.

The association coordinator says one example of a young person reaching out for help because of the Amanda Todd case occurred in Nanaimo where a teen used the TNT (Teens Networking Together) app to warn authorities about a distressed teen in the Fraser Valley. TNT is a joint project of the Crisis Society of Central Vancouver Island, the RCMP and School District #68 that is in its second year.

“Amanda has touched thousands of people and raised the issue of youth suicide causing many to ask if there is more they can be doing for those around them. We all have a role to play in being aware of the signs of suicide and responding when we see them,” Owen says.

“B.C.’s crisis lines provide over 3.7 million minutes of empowering, evidence‐based support each year to the people across the province. But even with that commitment and reach, there are still some who do not know of the critical services crisis lines provide.”

The Vancouver Island crisis line number is 1-888-494-3888. Professional certified crisis workers are available to provide support around bullying, depression, thoughts of suicide and other issues. In addition, several crisis lines also provide support through online chat services so young people have a web‐based way to reach out. These services can be reached through www.northernyouthonline.ca or www.youthinbc.ca.

Here are some signs that someone you know may need help:

  • Changes in behavior such as increased use of alcohol or other drugs, increased or decreased sleeping or eating, decreased self‐care;
  • A negative outlook with no positive future;
  • Changes in mood, crying easily, depressed, frequently agitated or anxious;
  • Warnings such as saying “Life isn’t worth it” or “Things would be better if I were gone”; jokes, poems or art about suicide;
  • Preparations for death such as saying goodbye, making a will, giving away prized possessions and talking about going away;
  • Impulsiveness without thought of risks or consequences; outburst or aggression;
  • Recent intentional self-harm or suicide attempts.

“If you recognize any of these signs in someone or are concerned, it is important to know that talking can help. You can reach out and let the person know you care; be a supportive listener; offer help by finding out who they can talk to – a relative, counselor, teacher, clergy member, doctor or crisis centre,” Owen says.

“Never promise to keep a suicide plan secret. And remember that 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) is available to anyone, anywhere, any time. Finally, take them to a hospital, mental health clinic or suicide prevention counselor if they cannot assure their own safety.”

Just Posted

Habitat for Humanity North Island wants to keep momentum going

Organization asks City of Campbell River for more land to build homes for young families

28 townhouses on the way to 525 Dogwood

Council approves latest phase of development, but not before expressing traffic concerns

Diver discovers possible historic anchor off Campbell River

The rusted, barnacle-encrusted anchor was wedged into the bottom off Quadra Island… Continue reading

Leigh wants Strathcona Regional District budget amended over water rates

Area D Director cites punitive water rates as a reason to slow down process

Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Salvation Army and Sobering Centre offer a total of 40 beds

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Most Read