At the latest Parish Check-in, I reflected upon my workplace ministry as a deacon at the Crisis Centre of BC. For those of you that don’t know, the Crisis Centre provides 24/7 access to barrier-free, non-judgemental, confidential crisis and mental health support 24/7.
Crisis happens, and each of us experiences it differently. A relationship breakup, changes in our financial situations, the death of a loved one, isolation and disconnection from systems of support. In some cases, there are underlying mental health issues, but in most cases, a crisis arises because stuff (feel free to insert the word of your choice) happens.
When someone calls the Crisis Centre for support, they are connecting over the phone or chat services with a highly trained volunteer or staff crisis responder. We aren’t a counselling service. As the Centre’s Executive Director, Stacy Ashton, says, “Crisis response is about getting you back into your thinking mind. Counselling is most helpful when you are ready to think.”
In our Christian tradition, we have a wonderful spiritual practice, developed by Jesuit practitioners, called the daily examine. In times of crisis, personal reflection through journaling is often a helpful tool for getting oneself back into our thinking mind. I offer this simple tool as a daily or go-to practice to support our overall wellbeing:
Lord, I realize that all, even myself, is a gift from you. Today, I am most grateful for …
Lord, open my eyes and ears to be more honest with myself. Today, I really want to …
Lord, show me what has been happening to me and in me this day. Today, I experienced love when …
Lord, I am still learning to grow in your love. Today, I know I should have …
Lord, let me look with longing toward the future. Today, I will let you lead me to ...
If you, or someone you know, is in crisis, distress, or having thoughts of suicide, help is available 24/7:
Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789
Vancouver Coastal Regional Distress Line: 604-872-3311
Sunshine Coast/Sea to Sky: 1-866-661-3311
Seniors Distress Line: 604-872-1234
Online Chat Service for Youth: www.YouthInBC.com (Noon to 1am)
Online Chat Service for Adults: www.CrisisCentreChat.ca (Noon to 1am)