April 24 Update: Distress Centre’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Our office remains closed but all of our services are still available by phone or online, including our crisis line, online chat, ConnecTeen, 211 and counselling services. We are continuing to put measures in place to ensure that continuous crisis and 211 support is available in the coming weeks and months so that we can maintain or even scale-up capacity according to need.
If someone is struggling with the situation and needs support, they can contact us by phone 24/7 at 403-266-4357 or by online chat available on our website. To make a phone counselling appointment, call the crisis line or submit an online intake form. To connect with other resources in Calgary, 211 is available by phone text and chat: www.ab.211.ca
COVID-19 has been a top issue on Distress Centre’s crisis and 211 contacts. Our contact volumes have increased as well. The increase has mainly been seen in 211 contacts but we expect to see an increase in crisis contacts in the coming days and weeks once the general public has their basic needs met, and mental health, isolation and loneliness become more pressing concerns.
Many services in Alberta are changing rapidly in response to COVID-19 and therefore lists of resources become out-of-date quickly are generally not effective. We ask that you please encourage anyone needing information on resources to contact 211. We have a team of Community Resource Specialists keeping the 211 Community Resource Database up to date.
Contact Numbers/Statistics – April 12-18, 2020:
- COVID-19 remains the top issue on Distress Centre’s crisis and 211 contacts. In Week 12, 26% of crisis contacts and 41% of 211 contacts were related to COVID-19.
- Our contact volumes have increased as well. The increase is mainly being seen in 211 – our 211 contact volumes have increased by 48% compared to the same week last year.
- We expect to see an increase in crisis contacts in the coming days and weeks once the general public has their basic needs met, and their mental health and isolation/loneliness become more pressing concerns.
- Isolation/loneliness, feelings of anxiety, and family relationships remain our top issues on crisis contacts.
- Communicable Disease Control, Information Lines, and Undesignated Temporary Financial Assistance are currently the top needs on 211. Referrals and connections to Health Link-811 are captured under Information Lines.
- Communicable Disease Control, Basic Income Maintenance Programs, and Emergency Food are the top unmet needs on 211 in Week 12.
- The number of high-risk crisis and 211 contacts have increased, and we have experienced a significant increase in the number of contacts requiring emergency intervention (see page 10).
- We have experienced a 23% increase in suicide related contacts.
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.