The six crisis phones on the Alex Fraser Bridge are now operational, and will connect callers to either the Fraser Health Crisis Line or the Vancouver Distress Line. (Contributed photo)

Delta police ‘just in time’ to help distraught youth on Alex Fraser

Two recent celebrity suicides have police reminding people about the crisis lines on the bridge

Delta police were able to be in the right place at the right time to prevent a youth from committing suicide on the Alex Fraser Bridge, a police release said.

On Thursday, June 7, Delta police received a call from a driver, alerting them to a “distraught-looking youth” on the Alex Fraser Bridge. Just before this call, a neighbouring police department also asked the DPD to check on the youth, the release said.

“Our officers were lucky; they got there just in time,” Cris Leykauf, DPD public affairs coordinator, said in the release.

“It’s not something we’d usually speak about, as we try to be very sensitive about how we approach mental health issues,” she continued. But, in light of the two celebrity suicides, she wanted to remind people about the six call boxes located along the length of the bridge.

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The call boxes, put in place in October 2017, connect the caller either to the Fraser Health Crisis Line or the Vancouver Distress Line for emotional support.

In the fall of 2017, police say they responded to about 30 incidents along the Alex Fraser Bridge since 2012. The first day the boxes were installed, the DPD received a call for help.

The phone wasn’t used in the most recent incident, although it was used as recently as April of this year.

Police are also thanking passing drivers for their help in assisting those who are facing a crisis.

“The public has also played an important role in helping save lives in these instances – whether it is a passing motorist who notices something isn’t quite right, or someone who may be working on the bridge,” Leykauf added.

To learn more about the Fraser Health Crisis Line, please go to http://www.options.bc.ca/fraser-health-crisis-line/volunteer-with-the-fraser-health-crisis-line.

For more information on suicide prevention please visit, http://www.fraserhealth.ca/health-info/mental-health-substance-use/conditions-symptoms/suicide/suicide.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

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