Walking with our Grief: Finding Support Through Nature at Darkness Into Light

Posted April 24th, 2024

By: Oliver Lum

Grief takes all different forms, and the grief journey is just as unique. Within that journey, there is always a community of people who can offer compassion and support.

Losing someone to suicide is complex, challenging, and individual. With the complexity of grief, support is different for each person. People worldwide gather to walk and watch the sunrise in the annual Darkness into Light walk each year.

Darkness into Light brings together people to honour those we have lost to suicide and show support for anyone struggling right now.

Corry Chaplin, a former staff member of the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC and participant in the Darkness into Light walk, has seen firsthand how valuable these walks can be and how the symbolism they represent can be therapeutic.

“Walking in nature is important for me because grief is this wild, unpredictable journey. And it’s such an intense journey, especially suicide loss, that the only container that can hold it for me is nature. It’s almost like walking with our grief,” said Chaplin.

Loss is often accompanied by fear, and it takes time to move through the grief process. While attending a community event like this may initially feel scary, Chaplin invites others not to let fear stop them.

“I would say to honour the fear because any event or situation related to suicide loss can be challenging. Honour that and explore how it might feel to try it anyway. Those attending will find it a very safe space where you can be yourself. There’s a comfort in this type of community because we’re up against a lot in a society that can’t handle our grief,” said Chaplin.

Support is essential when experiencing grief, yet it is up to the griever to determine what will be most helpful for them. These walks are unique in that they provide an opportunity to connect with the nourishing aspects of nature while being in a community of shared experiences and collective support.

Chaplin is trained as a mindfulness teacher and grief educator and believes that those who attempt to support suicide loss survivors are well-intentioned but often fall short.

“There are a lot of old, outdated grief models, and research has shown that they’re not helpful. People want to support others in grief but often don’t know what to do or say unless they’ve been in a similar situation. Our society needs more education, more suicide loss support, and less stigma. The work of the walk is contributing to all of that,” she said.

Join the community and the Crisis Centre at the walk on May 11th,2024, at the Burnaby Rugby Club starting at 4:15 AM.

More details can be found on their website.

If you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health crisis, reach out:

National Suicide Crisis Helpline / Ligne d’aide en cas de crise de suicide

310-6789 (no area code needed)
BC Mental Health Support Line

1-800-SUICIDE / 1-800-784-2433
BC Suicide Prevention and Intervention Line

9-8-8 and the Crisis Centre of BC

Posted November 30th, 2023

Suicide affects people of all ages and backgrounds. An average of 4,500 people across Canada die by suicide each year – approximately 12 people per day.

9-8-8 is a new three-digit, national mental health crisis and suicide prevention helpline that provides urgent, live support by phone and text to people in every province and territory across the country.

The Crisis Centre of BC and 40+ other local crisis centres across Canada are partners in answering 9-8-8. The new service is available in English and French, 24/7, every day of the year.

Further information about 9-8-8 can be found online

Support for British Columbians

National Suicide Crisis Helpline / Ligne d’aide en cas de crise de suicide

310-6789 (no area code needed)
BC Mental Health Support Line

1-800-SUICIDE / 1-800-784-2433
BC Suicide Prevention and Intervention Line

About the Crisis Centre of BC

The Crisis Centre of BC is dedicated to providing help and hope to individuals, organizations, and communities.

Spanning the spectrum of crisis support, suicide prevention, and postvention, we engage staff and volunteers in various services and programs that educate, train, and support the strength and capacity of individuals and communities.

We offer:

  • Immediate access to barrier-free, non-judgemental, confidential support and follow-up through 24/7 phone lines and online services.
  • Education and training programs that promote mental wellness and equip schools, organizations and communities to assist people at risk of suicide.

Further information about the Crisis Centre of BC can be found online

Media Requests

Jeffrey Preiss
Director, Development & Communications

Stacy Ashton
Executive Director, Crisis Centre of BC
Chair, BC Crisis Line Network

Crisis Centre’s International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Event Offers Healing in Community

Posted November 1st, 2023 by Lina Moskaleva and Stephanie Quon

Going through grief takes a village. Unfortunately, essential community support isn’t always available to those grieving someone lost to suicide. The Crisis Centre of BC continues its work in building community for suicide loss survivors during this year’s International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on Saturday, November 18th. The Centre, in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will be hosting an online event in which survivors of suicide loss come together to find connection, understanding, and hope through their shared experiences.

“When people are impacted by suicide, one of the main responses is isolation. This is because there is a component of stigma to suicide, and therefore, people often do not feel understood,” says Jessica Wolf, Bereavement Coordinator at the Crisis Centre. “Giving people an opportunity to meet with others with the same life experience offers a sense of belonging and sameness and a chance to build a community of people impacted by suicide loss.”

The event will consist of two parts: an educational piece and a space to share. The “Coming Back to Ourselves” presentation will explore orienting ourselves after loss and methods for finding gentleness for our communities and ourselves. The event will also give space for facilitated circles where participants can connect with others who have similar life experiences.

A goal of this event is to build community and social support for people who have experienced suicide loss. Community is important because it provides the feeling of not being alone and helps to normalize difficult feelings. At the event, participants are encouraged to talk openly and share with others what their grief is about, what has been helpful, and what has been challenging. 

“We recognize that there can be hesitation with attending this type of event, as people may be raw in their grief and suicide loss can be traumatic,” says Wolf Ortiz. “We make sure we create a safe space and follow guidelines to ensure people feel safe, connected, and welcome as they are.” One of the ways the facilitators ensure this is by making participation voluntary; participants are invited to share as much or as little as they want.


This will be the third year that the Crisis Centre is hosting this event, and the event has received positive feedback in the past.

“Every event we host, we ask people what their takeaways are and invite people to share,” reflects Wolf Ortiz. “It’s really beautiful to see our chat fill up with comments mentioning things like community, compassion, and belonging.”

Join a compassionate community of individuals to find healing in community on November 18th, 2023 for International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Registration is available here.


Please email bereavement@crisiscentre.bc.ca if you have any questions about the event.

Prevention Through Partnership: The Ɫokʷimas – You Are Strong Workshop on Indigenous Suicide Prevention

Posted October 31st, 2023 by Lina Moskaleva and Taja de Silva

Who we are and where we come from affects our understanding of suicide. This means that effective suicide prevention efforts cannot be one-size-fits-all. To combat the ongoing epidemic of suicide in Indigenous communities across Canada, we must have the knowledge and skills to provide culturally appropriate support, especially those of us who work in helping professions.

The Crisis Center of BC has recently partnered with N’alag̱a Consulting to offer a three-hour online workshop called “ɫokʷimas – You are Strong: Indigenous Suicide Prevention“. This workshop provides an understanding of suicide through an Indigenous social justice lens, and leaves participants with suicide prevention and life promotion tools to help address the epidemic of suicidality in Indigenous communities. Participants will acquire the knowledge to:

  1. provide enhanced support for Indigenous people who are navigating the spirit of suicide;
  2. utilize cultural practices for addressing trauma among those living with the spirit of suicide;
  3. explore the power of healing through land, culture, breath, and our physical bodies to promote wellness and self-regulation;
  4. build a community of folks who are not only passionate but also willing to engage in discussions about resisting the spirit of suicide.

Workshop participants will not only learn how to talk to someone who might be having thoughts of suicide, but how to create a space where people can be authentic about their experience. This approach comes from N’alag̱a Consulting’s broader suicide prevention program, which was conceptualized as a way to work with Indigenous people and youth who are living with the spirit of suicide in their own communities. Our partnership with N’alag̱a Consulting brings ɫokʷimas to a non-Indigenous audience for the first time. 

All of the spots for the workshop were already full almost a month in advance; “The need is there,” says Lu Ripley, Director of the Centre’s Community Learning & Engagement, whose partnership with Avis O’Brien of N’alag̱a Consulting brought the workshop to fruition. 

N’alag̱a / Kaaw Kuuna – Avis O’Brien is a multi-talented Haida/Kwakwa̱ka’wakw weaver, teacher, singer, dancer, and land-based cultural empowerment facilitator through N’alag̱a Consulting. 

“We often look at colonization as something that happened 200 years ago and now it’s over, but it’s very much alive and present,” says O’Brien. “When someone feels like ending their life and they’re carrying the burdens of ongoing colonization – that’s a really normal human response to what our people are faced with.” This means that suicide prevention also needs to be systemic if it is to effectively address the trauma caused by the systems that are founded on colonial principles.

O’Brien sees this work as vital to the larger project of preventing suicide and promoting life in Indigenous communities. “Suicide prevention is so broad,” says O’Brien pointing out that the currently predominant Western clinical approach to mental health services needs to be incorporated with other approaches and treated as a piece of a larger prevention strategy. O’Brien hopes that the workshop will “plant the seed of the importance of bringing in land-based and culturally rooted ways of resisting the spirit of suicide and healing” emphasizing that this is “what is really going to heal our people.” 

Ripley and O’Brien first connected through their work with the First Nations Health Authority in 2021 and the two kept in touch over the years. When asked about what led O’Brien to partner with the Centre, O’Brien pointed to her relationship with Ripley and their shared recognition of the potential value an Indigenous-led training on suicide could bring to our service.


“The role of culture is huge for all of us” says Ripley. Her hope for this training is that it creates more opportunities to “learn from each other and value each other’s knowledge”, so that suicide prevention efforts can evolve to reflect land-based and culturally appropriate approaches to healing.

Folks interested in taking the training in the future are encouraged to fill out our expression of interest form. In the meantime, visit N’alag̱a Consulting’s website to learn more about ɫokʷimas and the work of using culturally rooted tools for suicide prevention.

Navigating Complexity: Medical Assistance in Dying and Its Impact on Suicide Prevention

Posted August 15th, 2023 

Our core mission is to provide help and hope to individuals facing mental health crisis, including those struggling with thoughts of suicide. 

We acknowledge the complexity of mental health issues and the diverse perspectives surrounding Medical Assistance In Dying (MAiD) as an option for individuals in Canada. The Centre has not taken a position on the morality or ethical implications of MAiD; instead, we aim to support individuals with empathy, compassion, and understanding, meeting them where they are in their mental health and day-to-day struggles.

Eligibility for people to choose MAiD whose sole medical condition is mental illness is scheduled to begin on March 17, 2024, per the federal government’s timeline. The change to include mental illness as a sole criterion for accessing MAiD has brought attention to the intersections of mental health, suicide, self-determination, quality and access to mental health care, disability, poverty, and the meaning of life and suffering. None of these intersections are simple to navigate.

The kinds of calls we get related to MAiD tend to fall into four categories:

  • Callers considering applying to MAiD for a range of reasons related to physical or mental suffering: These individuals are not considering dying by suicide tonight. We hold a non-judgmental space for these callers to talk.
  • Callers concerned about a loved one considering MAiD or bereaved by the loss of a loved one through MAiD: We hold a non-judgemental place for these callers to talk.
  • Callers who have permission for MAiD and find knowing that option is there increases their sense of control in their lives and reduces their suffering enough to want to continue living: These callers often worry that if the MAiD option is taken away from them, their situation will be worse. We hold a non-judgemental place for these callers to talk.
  • Callers expressing strong opinions one way/another about the issue itself from a political, religious, moral or personal perspective: We hold space for these callers to share their thoughts and opinions with empathy and non-judgment. 
  • Callers who are in immediate suicidal crisis but are also considering MAiD: No matter what, MAiD will not happen tonight, but suicide might. We hold a non-judgemental place for these callers to talk. In addition, we work to help these callers stay safe from suicide.

Just as we believe talking about suicide does not cause suicide, we believe talking about MAiD does not cause someone to decide to pursue MAiD. Instead, talking through why we decide to live and why we might want to die is exactly what crisis centres are prepared to offer those who reach out to us.

We encourage dialogue and mutual understanding. We recognize that the topic of MAiD is deeply personal and can evoke strong emotions. We aim to create a supportive environment through active listening and open conversation where individuals can express their thoughts and experiences without judgment.

In our Crisis Responder training, we have added MAiD-related training modules and engage in deep conversation to ensure crisis line responders are equipped to meet people where they are within the scope of service provision. We do not include a caller’s questions, interest, or desire to talk about MAiD as a part of any assessment of suicide risk. MAiD and suicide are not the same thing; we are committed to keeping people safe from dying by suicide, while acknowledging their ambivalence towards living and dying.

In our Community Learning and Engagement programs, we have experienced participants actively discussing MAiD related to suicide, especially in our Applied Suicide and Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) program. These conversations reflect the complexities individuals face navigating mental health and suicide and how they intersect with end-of-life decisions. We value the openness of these discussions and actively listen to the concerns and perspectives shared by our community members.

Our commitment to suicide prevention remains steadfast. We will continue to adapt and respond to the evolving needs of our community, understanding that every person’s journey is unique. We need to remain informed, compassionate, and sensitive to the complexities surrounding mental health, suicide, and end-of-life decisions.

As we move forward, we encourage everyone to respect one another’s perspectives and recognize that discussions surrounding MAiD can be challenging for many. We aim to foster a safe and supportive community where individuals can find hope and strength in times of struggle. Together, we can create a space where open dialogue is embraced and those who need support are met with compassion and understanding.

At the Centre, we remain dedicated to supporting our community in the best way possible and committed to providing help, hope, and healing to those in need. 


BC Ministry of Health

Vancouver Coastal Health

Government of Canada

Helping To Improve Crisis Care and Suicide Prevention for Veterans

Posted August 15th, 2023 by lina Moskaleva and Effie Pow 

A high rate of suicide among Canadian veterans has been a distressing, decades-long reality. The 2019 Veteran Suicide Mortality Study revealed that the risk of suicide for veterans has remained consistently higher than that of the general public over a 39-year period, with the risk being 1.4 times higher for male and 1.9 times higher for female veterans.

With the support of Veterans Affairs Canada, the Crisis Centre of BC is contributing to the network of care available to veterans. The $60,000 grant from the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund will go towards the Crisis Care Continuum for Veterans project that will deliver suicide awareness and prevention training for veterans and those who support them in their communities. The Crisis Centre is one of five BC projects that will be funded.

Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, made the funding announcement on August 10, 2023 at the Legion Veterans Village in Surrey with Surrey-Centre MP Randeep Sarai.

“Caring for our mental health is crucial, and I am pleased to support the impactful projects these devoted groups are undertaking here in British Columbia through the Veteran and Family Well-being Fund,” said Taylor in the Veterans Affairs Canada news release. “Veterans and first responders have unique needs and that means we need to work together in providing care, treating PTSD, mental health problems and other medical needs.”

The Crisis Centre will collaborate with the Royal Canadian Legion/BC Yukon Command and other community partners to ensure staff and volunteers are trained, including the 125 veteran Branch Service Offers who assist veterans at Legion branches. Training peers increases skills and provides intergenerational learning to serve diverse veteran populations better. Convening community members and partners through training will help to improve the continuum of mental health crisis care for veterans.

“We know that veterans are at risk and we are pleased to provide a variety of opportunities for those supporting veterans to gain additional skills and tools to care for the community,” said Lu Ripley, Director of Community Learning and Engagement.

The training will include:  

  • Skillfully Responding to Distress, online training in de-escalation; 
  • Customized online suicide response training for those who are unable to attend in person
  • safeTALK, a half-day training in being suicide alert
  • Advanced skills offered in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), a two-day certified evidenced-based training, is planned for those directly supporting veterans in their roles. 

As well, to build wellness and resilience, community members and service providers will have access to the Crisis Centre’s on-demand wellness modules.  

Thank you to Veterans Affairs Canada for the project grant to support suicide awareness and prevention training for veterans and their families. 

Visit our website to learn more and register for our training programs and workshops.

The Crisis Centre of BC is committed to supporting people during times of crisis. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out:

  • Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (no area code required)
  • Anywhere in BC 1800SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433

BC Crisis Line Network Submits Recommendations for the 2024 Federal Budget

Posted August 14th, 2023 by Lina Moskaleva 

Toward Suicide-Safer Communities: BC Crisis Line Network’s Recommendations to the Federal Government

In Canada, suicide is the 9th leading cause of death overall and 2nd leading cause of death for young adults. Effective suicide prevention requires looking at more than mental health because suicide stems from crisis, and crisis has many beginnings. Canadians need 24/7 access to crisis care that meets people where they are, provides culturally-safe socioeconomic and mental health support without relying on police and coercive psychiatric interventions, and continues care until the person in crisis is back in control of their lives.

Continuing the work toward creating an effective and compassionate mental health crisis services system, the BC Crisis Line Network has submitted three recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance for the Pre-Budget Consultations in advance of the 2024 Federal Budget. These recommendations aim to reshape and bolster mental health crisis services nationwide and pave the way for a robust national suicide prevention framework.

“Our recommendations represent a transformative approach to addressing mental health crises in our communities,” says Stacy Ashton, chair of the BC Crisis Line Network. “By working together, across different levels of governments and partner agencies, we can create a stronger foundation for individuals in crisis and prevent tragedies.”

  • Recommendation 1: That the government disentangles entrenched police forces from mental health crisis services by appropriately funding pathways to alternative non-police response programs, including pathways from 9-1-1 and 9-8-8 to local crisis lines and community-based mobile crisis response teams, and reviewing federal policy and legislation that perpetuate reliance on police as mental health first responders.
  • Recommendation 2: That the government create a permanent annual Canada Mental Health and Substance Use Health Transfer equivalent to 6% of provincial/territorial health care spending ($2.65B) going to community based mental health services, including local crisis lines, and a mental health crisis response system nested in a robust health and social safety net.
  • Recommendation 3: That the government provide funding to update the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention as per the 11 recommendations made by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology in the “Doing What Works: Rethinking the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention” report. 

The Federal Government has the power to make significant investments into coordinated systems of care that are flexible, cost-effective, and community-based to ensure that every Canadian experiencing a crisis can receive the care they need to get back on their feet. The BC Crisis Line Network’s recommendations represent a rallying cry for change and a forward-thinking approach that will transform our systems of care through compassion and collaboration.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or considering suicide, please reach out:

  • Anywhere in BC 1800SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
  • Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (no area code required)

About the BC Crisis Line Network

The BC Crisis Line Network comprises ten regional crisis centres across British Columbia, collectively answering the 1800SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) and 310Mental Health Support (310-6789) phone lines. Most of our centres also answer the current national suicide prevention line and are preparing to continuing to answer as it transitions to 9-8-8.

​The BC Crisis Line Network operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide lifesaving crisis intervention, suicide risk assessment, and strengths-based collaborative safety planning and follow-up to vulnerable British Columbians. We safely de-escalate 98% of crisis calls in BC through compassionate listening, trauma-informed safety plans, and follow-up support.

Study Finds Mental Health Challenges Among Legal Professionals, Law Firm Commits to Helping

Posted May 29th, 2023 by Lina Moskaleva & Effie Pow

The legal profession can be a highly demanding and stressful field, with many professionals experiencing burnout, anxiety, and depression. Roper Greyell, one of the largest employment and labour law firms in Western Canada, is leading the charge in prioritizing the mental health and well-being of legal professionals. 

In a time when over a third of employed Canadians are experiencing burnout (source) and legal professionals are suffering from high levels of psychological distress, depression, anxiety, burnout and suicidal ideation (source), Roper Greyell is taking action.

The 2022 National Study on the Psychological Health Determinants of Legal Professionals in Canada suggests that stress, depression, and substance use are prevalent in the legal profession. Key findings include:

  • 24% of legal professionals have had thoughts of suicide since starting their legal practice; in comparison 11.8% of the Canadian population have had suicidal thoughts (Government of Canada, 2020)
  • 28.6% of legal professionals had a major depressive disorder compared to 15% of the general population between September to December 2020 (Statistics Canada, 2021)
  • 35.7% of legal professionals indicated generalized anxiety disorder compared to 13% for the general population between September to December 2020 (Statistics Canada, 2021)

Groups with the highest proportions of psychological distress were found to be legal professionals who identified as women, were living with a disability, identified as LGBTQ2S+, were working in Nunavut, or those who were articling students.

Roper Greyell’s commitment to supporting mental health was demonstrated by their 2022 holiday season donation of $10,000 to the Crisis Centre of BC. In February 2023, members of the Roper Greyell team visited the Centre and witnessed firsthand the incredible impact the organization has on the community.

Partner and head of their Equity Diversity and Inclusion committee, Sandra Guarascio, reflected on the visit, stating, “Walking through the hallway of recognition where volunteers who had generously dedicated thousands of hours of time were honoured, we were struck by the incredible difference this organization makes at a time when supports for mental health are increasingly in demand.”

The law firm’s generosity and unwavering commitment to mental health serve as a shining example for all organizations. Thank you, Roper Greyell, for championing legal professionals’ well-being and positively impacting your community.

The Crisis Centre of BC is committed to supporting people in need of support during times of crisis. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out:

  • Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (no area code required)
  • Anywhere in BC 1800SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433

Mental Health Through the Eyes of Children: Pear Tree School’s Student Reflections and Sculpture Exhibition

Posted May 3rd, 2023 by Lina Moskaleva 

Teaching kids about mental health and emotional well-being is one of the most important things we can do in preparing them to navigate the ups and downs of life. Pear Tree School is one of Vancouver’s schools prioritizing topics of mental health for their students and recruiting the Crisis Centre’s Self-Care for Mental Health Workshop to help. 

Part of the school’s teaching philosophy is to combine different subjects into themes, relate them to real-world issues, and present the theme topics to students in modules. During the “Local Crisis” theme, one of the modules was about mental health. The students were encouraged to reflect on their own experiences while being aware of the challenges other people in the city are facing.

After the module ended, the teachers heard from the students a desire to learn more about mental health topics.


“So many students are struggling to some degree and they’re trying to figure out how to regulate and manage and cope,” said Katelyn Jmaeff, Pear Tree School’s Grade 7/8 Teacher. “We need to equip them with skills, create a space to share, and make sure they know that they’re not alone.”


The school invited different speakers, including the Crisis Centre’s Self Care for Mental Health Workshop volunteers, to have dialogues with the kids about mental health. “The project made us see how many great organizations there are in Vancouver and that there are community members that want to support the students,” said Jordyn Garinger, Pear Tree School’s Grade 5/6 Teacher.

The Self-Care for Mental Health Workshop introduces the kids to the continuum of mental health. The workshop helps students to discuss topics such as what mental health is, how to take care of it, and why boundaries and limits are important. By the end of the workshop, each student has their own personalized “self-care plan” that includes the available support resources.

 “The volunteers were personable and willing to share their stories, which made the kids feel comfortable talking about mental health,” reflected Garinger. “They created a safe space through their positivity, friendliness, and openness.”


According to the teachers and the students themselves, the workshop made a significant impact by working with the kids through complex topics. “The Crisis Centre did a great job of bringing in the topic of suicide; we can’t shy away from it,” said Garinger. “We need to teach kids what signs to look for and where they can go for support, but ideally we need to help them know how to deal with their mental health and how to help their friends too.”

The students also enjoyed the discussion about what self-care means, how it can be different for everyone, and how it can change over time. One of the Grade 5 students, Ethan, said his biggest takeaway from the workshop was “how there are so many ways to help with your mental health and caring for yourself!”

To help the kids process everything they had learned in a creative way, the students had a chance to create ceramic sculptures based on a mental health topic of their choosing and display them at a local art gallery, Visual Space.

“The students were initially very modest about the project – ‘our work in a gallery?’ – but then they became involved in the planning of the exhibition as time went on,” said Garinger. The school invited a group from the Crisis Centre’s Community Learning and Engagement team, including the volunteers who lead the workshop with the students, to the exhibit.

The exhibition was packed with students, families, and teachers, each student standing proudly beside their work. The sculptures were abstract, giving the students a chance to incorporate complex meanings into their art and share them with the visitors. “They felt proud that their voices were being heard and that they could be open about talking about good mental health and struggles,” said Garinger. 

“I felt so hopeful hearing the students talking about these topics with such awareness and enthusiasm; it’s so great to see the positive impacts of mental health education,” says Lana Konopljova, Crisis Centre’s Youth Program Coordinator. “It means we are setting a healthy knowledge foundation for the kids and normalizing talking and caring about mental health.” 

The school plans to incorporate mental health and soft skills as core components of education. Garinger and Jmaeff said they are committed to continuing check-ins and open dialogues with the students about mental health and making sure they know about the resources available to them. “It’s like learning a new language,” said Jmaeff. “We all need to understand what the terms mean and have tangible actions we can do to help ourselves and others.”

The students took some time to reflect on some of their biggest takeaways and most memorable moments from the workshop and art project:

Evan (Grade 6): “My biggest takeaway from the Crisis Centre Workshop is that if you have mental health struggles there is always help”.

Jacob (Grade 6): “The amount of people who have mental health issues that don’t tell people was my biggest takeaway because if someone does share their mental health issues it’s a very big deal for them and some people don’t think it’s hard at all but it is.”

Ethan (Grade 5): “How there’re are so many ways to help with your mental health and caring for yourself!”

Heidi (Grade 7): “My biggest takeaway from the self care workshop was that it’s really important to take care of yourself. You need to make sure you take care of yourself or worse things could happen. I really liked showing my mum all the work I did, it makes me proud seeing the finished product. I liked learning more about mental health, how we can help, etc. My biggest take away from the module was that you can’t always tell when someone is struggling with their mental health. You don’t always see what really goes on. Your not inside their brain you can never know what they are thinking even if they have a smile on their face.”

If you are interested in bringing the Self-Care for Mental Health Workshop to your school, please complete the workshop request form.

This single-session 70 to 90-minute workshop is offered for youth in grades 6 to 12, and is free for schools and organizations within BC. In-person workshops are available in Vancouver, Burnaby and North Vancouver.

Effects of Climate Change on Mental Health: Crisis Centre of BC Responds to the IPCC Climate Change 2023 Synthesis Report

Posted March 21st, 2023 by Lina Moskaleva 

Vancouver, BC – The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC (Crisis Centre of BC) expresses deep concern about the findings of the IPCC Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report regarding the effects of climate change on mental health.

As a member of the BC Crisis Line Network that serves people across British Columbia, we know that climate change is already having a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of British Columbians.

According to the report, climate change exacerbates pre-existing mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Climate change disproportionately affects vulnerable populations, who are already at a greater risk of experiencing mental health problems, including Indigenous peoples, people with a low-income, and those living in rural or remote places. Climate change also leads to an increase in the incidence of extreme weather events, natural disasters, and displacement, which can cause significant psychological distress, trauma, and grief.

“The IPCC report makes it clear that the effects of climate change on mental health are significant and cannot be ignored,” states Stacy Ashton, executive director of the Crisis Centre of BC. “We need to recognize that mental health is an essential part of our response to the climate crisis, and we must prioritize it in our actions and policies.”

Everyone needs to keep their mental health as a priority during climate change emergencies. Here are some tips to help cope:

  1. Connect with others: Reach out to friends, family, and community members for support. Sharing your concerns and feelings can help alleviate stress and anxiety.
  2. Practice self-care: Take care of your physical health by getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating healthy food. Engage in activities that bring you joy, such as reading, listening to music, or spending time in nature.
  3. Limit exposure to distressing news: While it’s important to stay informed about climate change, exposure to constant distressing news can be overwhelming and lead to feelings of hopelessness and anxiety. Limit your exposure to news and social media and take breaks when needed.
  4. Seek professional help: If you are experiencing significant distress or mental health problems, contact a mental health professional or crisis center for support.
  5. Take action: Addressing climate change can give you a sense of purpose and control, which can be empowering and make a positive impact on your mental well-being.

The Crisis Centre of BC is committed to supporting people in need of support during times of crisis. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out:

  • Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (no area code required)
  • Anywhere in BC 1800SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433


Jeffrey Preiss, Director, Communications & Development

Stacy Ashton, Executive Director

Help Make An Impact

Join us in responding to the mental health crisis and in fostering compassionate, connected, suicide-safer communities.

Donate Volunteer
Our Impact The topic and word "suicide" is not so scary after taking a training from the Crisis Centre of BC. I'm grateful to have been here today, and am hopeful that I can help people in the future. safeTALK participant, Agassiz