New phone service available for mental health and substance use support

Amid deteriorating mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and record overdose deaths in British Columbia, including in Kamloops, Interior Health has developed a phone service for community mental health and substance use supports.

In a press release on Tuesday, Interior Health said the phone service — which connects the public to the nearest MHSU centre and staff who can direct them to the right mental health and substance use service — was developed to make it easier for people to access support. The service launched in the South Okanagan area in the fall and expanded region-wide on Tuesday.

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The phone number is: 310-MHSU (6478).

Interior Health said the number can be called for reasons that include: ongoing difficulties with mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, paranoia, psychosis, ongoing difficulties with substance use or if you are unsure if you need support.

The resource is not intended to replace emergency help nor other existing community resource numbers, such as the Interior Crisis Line (1-888-353-2273).

Anyone in need of immediate help is asked to call 911.

For more information, go online to interiorhealth.ca.

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