May 27 Update: Distress Centre’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Our office remains closed but all of our services are open and available by phone or online, including our crisis line, online chat, ConnecTeen, 211 and counselling services. If you need help, please reach out.
We’re proud that we’ve been able to support Calgarians through such a difficult time. Here is one story of how we helped a 211 caller:
“A senior called 211 looking for assistance with daily activities, since she has been suffering from chronic pain that was limiting her mobility. The caller said she lives alone and needed assistance with grocery shopping and getting essential items. She suffers from health problems and was unable to go outside due to them and the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation was causing her a great deal of stress. The Community Resource Specialist referred the caller to the Kerby Centre for their grocery program and provided information on their other programs that may be helpful. The specialist coached the caller on how she could safely access these services.”
Many services in Alberta are changing rapidly in response to COVID-19 and therefore lists of resources become out-of-date quickly are generally not effective.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.
If you are a community partner in the Calgary area and are modifying your services during the pandemic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your information updated in the 211 database.
Contact Numbers/Stats – Week 16 (May 10-16, 2020):
- COVID-19 remains the top issue on Distress Centre’s 211 contacts. In Week 16, 32% of 211 contacts and 14% of crisis contacts were related to COVID-19.
- Our contact volumes have increased as well. The increase is mainly being seen in 211 – although our 211 contact volumes in Week 16 decreased by 6% compared to the same week last year, we have experienced a 38% increase in 211 contacts from January 26-May 16 compared to the same time period last year.
- In Week 16, COVID-19 was the fourth top issue on crisis contacts. The top issues on crisis contacts are now feelings of anxiety, feelings of depression, and isolation/loneliness. Isolation/loneliness was the top issue on COVID-19 related contacts.
- In Week 16, the top needs on COVID-19 related 211 contacts were Information Sources, Information and Referral, and Emergency Food. The top needs on all 211 contacts were Information and Referral, Information Sources, and Undesignated Temporary Financial Assistance.
- In Week 16 the top unmet needs on COVID-19 related 211 contacts were Communicable Disease Control and Emergency Food, with Undesignated Temporary Financial Assistance and Basic Income Maintenance Programs tied for the third top unmet need. The top unmet needs on all 211 contacts were Emergency Food, Basic Income Maintenance Programs and Communicable Disease Control tied for second, and Undesignated Temporary Financial Assistance.
- The number of high-risk crisis and 211 contacts have increased, and we have experienced an increase in the number of contacts requiring emergency intervention.
- This week, we experienced a 13% increase in suicide related contacts compared to the same week last year. We have experienced a 21% increase in suicide related contacts from January 26-May 16 compared to the same time period last year.