Interior Health has expanded access to its mental health and substance use phone service to make it easier for people living in the region to find support in the community.

Interior Health said its phone number to get connected with local resources is 310-MHSU (6478).

The phone service was developed in response to feedback from the public and clients to simplify access and help navigate community support.

“Reaching out for assistance with a mental health or substance concern can be a very intimidating process. Add to that, challenges of not knowing who to go to or where to seek assistance, and it can make for a very stressful circumstance,” said Jana Abetkoff, Director of Quality, Standards and Practice Mental Health and Substance Use Network. “Interior Health is trying to make that process easier for people by initiating a 310-MHSU phone number that will connect people with their closest mental health and substance use centre.”

The service is available to service providers and any member of the general public who wishes to use it.

Interior Health said calls to the helpline will be routed to the nearest community MHSU centre, where staff will determine the caller’s needs and connect them to appropriate services.

The health authority noted that the new service does not replace existing phone numbers for community, acute or emergency services, or for the Interior Crisis Line (1-888-353-2273).

The service was initially launched in the South Okanagan in September 8, 2020, before it expanded across the Interior Health Region on Tuesday, January 12th.

310-MHSU number poster. (Supplied by Interior Health)