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Distress Centre Calgary / 211  / August 24 Update: Distress Centre’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

August 24 Update: Distress Centre’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

In the sixth month of our COVID-19 response, we continue to support Calgarians by providing 24/7 crisis and 211 phone support, daily chat and ConnecTeen text support. Counselling sessions are being conducted by phone and video. If you need help, please reach out.

Since our last update, we experienced an unmanageable increase in contacts from people seeking masks, particularly to our 211 line. Distress Centre and 211 do not have masks to distribute. People can contact 211 and they can place an order and the request is then sent to AHS.

Up-to-date information is critical during rapidly changing times like these. If you are a community partner in the Calgary area and are modifying your services during the pandemic, please email communityresourcedatabase@distresscentre.com to have your information updated in the 211 database. We ask that you please encourage anyone needing information on resources to visit www.ab.211.ca or to call or text INFO to 2-1-1.

We encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about needs and unmet needs across the province to visit the 211 Alberta COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

Contact Numbers/Stats – Week 28/29 (August 2-15, 2020):

  • The following update details the COVID-19 related crisis and 211 contacts responded to by Distress Centre Calgary, beginning January 26 through August 15.
  • COVID-19 remains a top issue on Distress Centre’s 211 contacts. In Weeks 28 and 29, 62% and 68% of 211 contacts were related to COVID-19 respectively; 8% and 7% of crisis contacts were related to COVID-19, respectively.
  • Our contact volumes have increased as well. The increase is mainly being seen in 211 – we have experienced a 72% increase in 211 contacts from January 26-August 15 compared to the same time period last year and a 256% increase compared to the same two weeks last year.
  • In Week 28/29, COVID-19 was the 11th top issue on crisis contacts. The top issues on COVID-19 related crisis contacts were Anxiety, Family Relationships, and Isolation/Loneliness. The top issues on all crisis contacts were Anxiety, Depressed Mood, and Family Relationships.
  • In Week 28/29, the top needs on COVID-19 related 211 contacts were Medical Equipment/Supplies, Information Sources, and Information and Referral. The top needs on all 211 contacts were Medical Equipment/Supplies, Information Sources, and Information and Referral.
  • This week, we experienced an 31.9% decrease in suicide related contacts compared to the same week last year. We have experienced a 20.5% increase in suicide related contacts from January 26-August 15 compared to the same time period last year, but are encouraged by the sustained downward trend in suicide related contacts as a percentage of overall call volumes.

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