WHEREAS not-for-profit community-based organizations have a long and effective history of operating crisis lines across the province;AND WHEREAS these organizations provide extensive training to volunteers to help individuals deal with issues of depression, suicide, family violence, addictions and numerous other social issues;AND WHEREAS these volunteers are community people with knowledge of community issues and resources;AND WHEREAS this model of providing crisis intervention services is highly supported nationally and internationally;AND WHEREAS in recent years the provincial government has implemented their own crisis line;AND WHEREAS the provincial government is now considering turning over the operations of this crisis line to Health Link;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the provincial government to work with the coalition of crisis line programs to determine the best possible provision of service to all residents of Alberta.
Community-based crisis lines have been in operation in Alberta for over 30 years. The Support Network Edmonton and the Distress Centre Calgary began operation in 1970; P.A.C.E. Grande Prairie in 1981; the Samaritans of Southern Alberta in 1982; SOS Crisis Line Fort McMurray in 1986 and Red Deer in 1989. They offer extensive training programs to volunteer members of their communities. These individuals use their skills beyond the scope of the crisis line, enhancing community capacity to respond to trauma.The operation of a provincially based crisis line is a duplication of existing services and undermines community support and development. The provincial crisis line would be operated out of central Alberta. The responders knowledge of community resources and indeed the communities would be limited to that information available on a computer database.The coalition of crisis line programs has been urging the provincial government to meet with them to discuss potential partnerships and collaboration.