March 19 Update: Distress Centre’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Distress Centre closed our doors on March 17th, but we continue to provide 24 hour phone and email crisis support, daily chat and text for youth support, and counselling to those in crisis. These services are provided by staff working remotely from home. As the impact of COVID-19 grows, call volumes to our crisis lines are on the rise and people are getting anxious about potential job loss, school closures, paying the bills and being isolated. We anticipate that this will continue as more cases are reported and more restrictions are enforced.
Basic needs and financial issues were already top concerns on our 24 hour 2-1-1 line, but this is being further exacerbated by COVID-19. There is an increase in requests related to not only emergency financial assistance but also more individuals are seeking government financial assistance and food resources.
As for our ConnecTeen services, phone and online contact volumes are steady. The top concerns have not yet changed; they are suicide, self-harm, relationships and education. The effects of COVID-19 are becoming more of a concern as self-isolation becomes the new norm.
Diane Jones Konihowski,
Director, Fund Development & Communications:
About Distress Centre: Distress Centre Calgary (DCC) has provided 24 hour crisis support in Calgary and southern Alberta since 1970. We do this through our 24 hour crisis line, email, daily chat, and daily text for our youth. We also have professional counselling for clients with issues that cannot be resolved over the phone. If you need help finding a social, community or government service, 211 is available by phone and online chat. Our Coordinated Access and Assessment (CAA) program serves Calgarians experiencing homelessness out of the Safe Communities Opportunity and Resource Centre (SORCe). All of our services are free.