Interior Health improves access to mental health supports amid COVID-19 pandemic. (Stock)

Interior Health improves access to mental health supports amid COVID-19 pandemic. (Stock)

Interior Health connects people to mental health resources amid COVID

310-MHSU line receives positive feedback in early months of rollout

Mental health has taken a hit from the stress, isolation and anxiety linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Interior Health is making it easier for people to access resources to get the help they need.

Three months ago, the healthy agency expanded a phone line for community mental health and substance use services accessible by one easy-to-remember phone number 310-MHSU (6478) and already they’re receiving a positive response.

“People living with mental health and substance use challenges deserve quick access to qualified supports that are available when and where they need them,” Mental Health Minister Sheila Malcolmson said.

“I’m pleased that the early, positive feedback is telling us that people are getting the help they need and I look forward to the coming months as even more people use the service and are connected o the supports to help them along their unique healing and recovery journey.”

The phoneline first launched in September 2020 but was expanded regionally Jan. 12, 2021. It is available to service providers as well as the general public who wish to connect to services.

“The 310-MHSU phone number is one more way people can reach out for the support they need,” IH president and CEO Susan Brown said.

“This challenging pandemic has left many people feeling anxious and uncertain and I encourage anyone struggling with mental health or substance use issues to call Interior Health for support.”

Additional supports are available online; visit the provincial Virtual Mental Health Supports During COVID-19 for a collection of supports available for British Columbians.

Those worried about their mental health are urged to contact 310-6478 to reach local resources or the Interior Health Crisis Line at 1-888-353-2273 for immediate assistance.

First Nations and Aboriginal individuals can call the KUU-US Crisis Line Society 1-800-KUU-US17 (1-800-588-8717). Crisis response personnel are certified and trained in Indigenous cultural safety. The Métis Nation of BC also operates a 24-7 crisis line at 1-833-638-4722.

READ MORE: Warm, sunny week ahead in Okanagan-Shuswap

READ MORE: COVID-19 exposures at six Vernon schools


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Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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