Help is just a text message away. The Vancouver Island Crisis Society is now offering the option of texting a crisis worker.

Community Relations Coordinator Heather Owen says they’re trying to open up new ways of accessing the service. It’s available from 6:00-10:00pm seven nights a week, similar to the online messaging support introduced about a year ago.

Owen says it helping them to reach a new demographic – teenagers. She says 50 per cent of the people using the online messaging are between the ages of 12 and 18. The Crisis Line receives more than 27,000 calls a year, which adds up to about 75 every day. Owens says they typically have up to 5 crisis workers standing by to take calls, chat online or answer text messages.

Owen says they’re still just slowly intruding the next Crisis Text service. In January, they’ll be widely publicizing throughout high schools across the island.

The Crisis Line is 1-888-494-3888, and the Crisis Text number is 250-800-3806.