The six crisis phones on the Alex Fraser Bridge are now operational, according to a release from the Delta police department.
“Over the span of a five year period, the Delta Police have responded to approximately 30 incidents specific to the Alex Fraser Bridge,” Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord said in a press release.
“We certainly appreciate the efforts of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Crisis Line Association of BC and Telus for their work in installing these crisis phones on this Bridge. These phones will serve as an additional layer of support for those in crisis to reach out to someone.”
The yellow crisis phones were installed in early October, as a partnership between Delta police, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Crisis Line Association of B.C. and Telus.
When accessed, the phone will connect the caller to either the Fraser Health Crisis Line or the Vancouver Distress Line for emotional support.
“One in five people in British Columbia is dealing with a mental health issue in any given year, at any given time,” said Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy.
“Often people will be reluctant to talk to others about mental illness or a thought of suicide, until they are at a critical state. These new phones provide one more way that a person in a crisis can reach out for help and be guided toward resources that can provide the necessary support and treatment.”
Crisis phones have been in place for nearly a decade on the Lions Gate Bridge and were more recently installed on the Ironworkers Memorial, Second Narrows and Burrard Bridge.
According to the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC, individuals jumping off the Burrard, Granville, Ironworkers, Lions Gate and Pattullo bridges accounted for 50 per cent of suicide deaths by jumping between 1991 and 2007.
-with files from Katya Slepian