Our Story

We believe in a world where all people find support through crisis and can move from suicidal despair to fulfilling lives. Whatever you're going through, we’ll face it with you through our programs and services.

Where We Come From

Founded in 1969 by visionaries including Dr. Paul Termansen, Professor Ben Chud, Archie Baker, Jon Jessiman, Tony Morrison, and Betty Tarrant, the Crisis Centre has been a pillar of support for communities across British Columbia. 

Our original location was in a medical-dental building at Broadway and Burrard, with a modest budget of $30,000 and a lone staff member. 

Over the years, the Crisis Centre expanded its services and locations, moving to Alexandra Neighborhood House at 7th and Burrard in 1970 and later settling at 1946 West Broadway in 1972. The ‘Flying Squad’ and the iconic ‘Big Yellow Bus’ initiatives were introduced in 1971, showcasing the Centre’s innovative approaches to crisis intervention. Subsequent years saw the establishment of the Community Information Centre in 1978, the development of suicide prevention videos, and the creation of the Community Education: A School-Based Suicide Prevention Program in 1986.

In 1997, the Crisis Centre embraced new technologies by computerizing its distress line and administration programs, joining the British Columbia Crisis Line Association. The Centre continually evolved, introducing Peer Helper Training workshops, launching the toll-free distress line service to additional regions in 2001, and upgrading its computer system in 2002. Notably, the Crisis Centre’s commitment to youth support led to the creation of www.youthinbc.com, a web-based hotline, and the initiation of the 1-800 SUICIDE prevention service across BC.

Help Make An Impact

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

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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