PORT HARDY – David took on Goliath and The North Island Crisis Line will once again be fully funded.
Chris Parker of the North Island Crisis and Counselling Centre got the word Tuesday morning from the Vancouver Island Health Authority. A year ago VIHA decided to centralize crisis lines on Vancouver Island in Nanaimo and stop funding to the local volunteer line.
But Parker, her staff and the NICCC board never believed a centralized line could provide the knowledge and service a local one could. Local governments and First Nations agreed and rallied to save the local line.
“The community really came together,” said Parker. “We’re the tiniest line and we took them on.”
The NICCC board continued to fund the line from their reserves. But the money was running out and NICCC was looking for sponsors before the end of March.
Then VIHA saw the light.
“They reognized … this was tried and clearly there were huge gaps in service with the centralized line,” said Parker. “Our crisis line was so integrated with crisis response.There is a big disconnect in response with a centralized line.”
Parker will now meet with local mental health workers to hammer out the details of the contract.
The crisis line number, which has continued to be available, is 250-949-6033.