Why Distress Centre Matters: “I’m having a panic attack right now.”
“Thank you for contacting Distress Centre. This is Anne.”
“I’m having a panic attack right now,” Dane* told Anne, an online services volunteer.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Anne responded. “Are you safe right now?”
“Yes, I’ve had panic attacks before,” Dane said. “I just need to talk to someone for a bit to calm myself down. I’m typing this in the bathroom so my parents don’t overhear. My hands are shaking so much – I’m sorry I keep making mistakes.”
Anne chatted with Dane while his symptoms gradually lessened. He said that he hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep lately and thinks this is why he is having an attack.
Dane and Anne talked about what he does to lessen his anxiety when he experiences panic attacks. Dane then went silent in the chat while he took several minutes to breathe.
Once he said he was feeling better, Dane and Anne created a plan for the next few days, in case he experienced another panic attack.
At the end of the chat, Dane thanked Anne for listening. “I’m really glad you guys are here when I need you,” he said.
We have responded to 4731 crisis chats like Dane’s so far in 2018 (as of October 30th). In November and December, we are sharing some of our user’s stories to explore why Distress Centre matters in our community.
We need your help. Demand for our services has increased significantly in 2018, and suicide remains a top issue. 70% of our contacts occur in the evening, so we need to keep online services open longer. This means additional midnight staff are needed 365 days of the year.
Giving Tuesday is November 27th, 2018. Give this year, so Distress Centre can continue to support people like Dane. Double your donation – thanks to the support of Monarch, all donations will be matched, up to $5000!
*This story is based on a real chat we received. Identifying details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the user and volunteer.