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


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

mental health

Just Posted

RDEK is calling for nominations for their Volunteer of the Year award in all six electoral districts.
RDEK posts operating surplus as pandemic reduces costs

The RDEK has posted a operational surplus of $8 million as local… Continue reading

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

Fernie Ghostriders head coach Jeff Wagner has committed to two more years with the team. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press
Fernie Ghostriders coach departs: Wagner moves to Coquitlam

Jeff Wagner will move to the Lower Mainland as associate coach and director of scouting with the Coquitlam Express

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read