Island Health is launching a phone line to connect people to information and services for help with mental health or substance use issues.
The Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) Service Link is an information line solely to inform callers about local resources available and Island Health says the call takers are not trained in emotional support or crisis intervention.
People in crisis should call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line, available 24/7 at 1-888-494-3888.
The MHSU aims to help people navigate and connect to resources, including harm reduction services, drug-poisoning prevention, addiction medicine, withdrawal management, treatment and recovery services.
The line will be available seven days a week at 1-888-885-8824. Island Health says people can call the line any time, and if there is no one on shift they can leave a message and all messages will be returned.
“Initially, call takers will be available during regular business hours seven days a week,” Island Health said in an email. “As we learn more about callers’ needs and times when call volumes are highest, we will adjust call-taker hours to align with those needs.”