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Demands for Distress Centre Services Continues to Rise Year-Over-Year

Demands for Distress Centre Services Continues to Rise Year-Over-Year

Distress Centre Calgary’s 2017 Annual Report Findings Released

(CALGARY, AB) –Distress Centre Calgary (DCC) has just released their 2017 Report to Community. Findings from this report indicate that the demands for Distress Centre services continues its rise year-over-year.

Crisis contacts made to the centre (crisis calls, chats, emails and texts) increased by 19.2% and 27.4% in 2017, compared to 2015 and 2013 respectively. As DCC Executive Director Jerilyn Dressler explains, this increase is being experienced alongside the increase of technology use.

“With the ever-increasing presence of technology in our daily lives, we are witnessing a growing increase in the demands for our services,” said Dressler. “Social media, texting—it can open the floodgates for social pressures and anxieties. While these technologies provide an opportunity for greater connections between individuals, it can also leave individuals feeling detached and isolated. Our goal at DCC is to take advantage of these technologies and use them connect people with people.

DCC has provided 24-hour crisis support for Calgary and Southern Alberta since 1970. Connecting Albertans to community and health services, professional counselling, or other social services. DCC volunteers and staff are there to listen to anyone in need of support.

In 2017 alone, DCC responded to more than 122,000 total contacts. This is includes crisis contacts, as well as counselling and 211 contacts.

Besides their 24-hour crisis line, DCC provides direct email, daily chat options, and even text message support for youth. Demands for these crisis services increased by 8.8% last year, with 20.9% of online contacts made relating to suicide.

“I had no idea how many people have no one in their life to turn to. I know first-hand that if we didn’t exist many of these people wouldn’t have the strength to continue and would have taken their own lives,” said one Distress Centre volunteer.

ConnecTeen, services dedicated to supporting young adults, experienced an increase by 115.2% in the contacts made last year. Finding that most teens prefer to reach out through text or the online chat support, the demands for these services continue to rise.

“The ever-increasing demand for our services is pushing our contract centre to near capacity. And demand for online support and extended online hours continues to climb,” added Dressler. “Both of these issues necessitate innovative approaches and additional funding to address. But with the continued strength and dedication of our staff, volunteers, and board, as well as the essential support of our funders and donors, we are confident that we will continue to realize our vision: Everyone is heard.

To see Distress Centre Calgary’s 2017 Report to Community, and to learn more about how the centre is utilizing technology to connect with and help everyone feel heard in times of crisis, visit: 2017.distresscentrear.com

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