Our History


 In 1973, the newly created Volunteer Bureau (of VJH) in Vernon developed a plan for a volunteer run Crisis Line and referral service.

In 1975, the People In Need Crisis Intervention Society of Vernon and District was formed. Training was developed and volunteers were trained to answer calls to the newly formed Crisis Line. The Society also created The Good morning program which provides daily calls to isolated and vulnerable individuals in the community. Through the course of the next few years the crisis line was primarily run by a group of dedicated volunteers and had a very small budget. Volunteers supplied furniture, paper, coffee, tea and other necessary items. During this time, the office moved to a few different locations such as the Social Planning Council office and the Chamber of Commerce building.

By 1990, the Crisis Line had been in existence for over 17 years and had grown into a respected and vital service to the North Okanagan. This same year the BC Crisis and Family Services Association was formed with other Crisis Lines throughout the province with the PIN Crisis Intervention Society as one of its founding members.

BC Crisis and Family Services Association has reorganized over the years and is now known as the Crisis Line Association of British Columbia (CLABC). CLABC is a society and has 14 Crisis Line members of which the PIN Crisis Line is one. Under the auspices of CLABC, the Distress Line Network was formed in 2004 and the provincial 1-800-SUICIDE line began operation.

The Teen Crisis Line began operation in 1992. Youth between 16 and 19 years of age were professionally trained to answer calls from their peers. The service remained viable for a number of years, however the call volume became very low, possibly due to the onset of MSN and other similar communication technology. A decision was made to close the service in 2005 because of the lack of calls.

In the year 2000, the People In Need Crisis Intervention Society celebrated 30 years of continuous 24-hour service. That year service was enhanced to the Revelstoke and Shuswap areas by providing local toll-free telephone numbers to allow easy access for callers to the Crisis Line. Support was provided by the North Okanagan Health Region (now known as the Interior Health Authority).

In May of 2011 the Vernon Crisis Line became a member of the Distress Line Network and began answering calls on the provincial 1-800-SUICIDE phone line.

The past few years the Crisis Line has received between 4000 and 4500 calls per year. There are an average of 48 participants on the Good Morning Program annually who receive calls on a regular basis. (See Good Morning Program)

Currently the organization has 3 staff and a strong dedicated team of volunteers who provide quality service for those in need. The PIN Crisis Line has operated without interruption 24 hours a day since it opened in 1975. The credit for this must be given to the hundreds of volunteers for their compassion, commitment and dedication for they are the ones who have provided countless hours of listening and empowering. Without the amazing support of our volunteers, the People In Need Crisis Intervention Society would not have had as many successes and support from the community throughout its history.