December Update: Distress Centre’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Distress Centre continues to support Calgarians by providing 24 hour crisis and 211 phone support, daily chat and ConnecTeen text support. Counselling sessions are being conducted by phone and video. Distress Centre Calgary/211 Alberta South phone services are available in over 200 languages, 24/7. If you need help, please reach out.
Contact Numbers/Stats – January 26-November 30, 2020:
- The volume of high-risk contacts has increased.
- We experienced a concerning 73% increase in suicide-related contacts in November 2020 compared to November 2019, and a 37% increase from January 26-November 30 compared to the same time period last year. In November 2020, suicide was the fifth top issue on crisis contacts.
- In November, we also saw a significant increase in emergency interventions (or “reportable disclosures”) – a 32% increase compared to 2019
- The majority of these calls were made for persons at imminent risk of suicide, and secondly due to child welfare concerns (please see page 10 of Distress Centre’s monthly Crisis Report for more information).
- COVID-19 remains a top issue on Distress Centre’s 211 contacts. In November, 17% of 211 contacts and 12% of crisis contacts were related to COVID-19.
Our contact volumes have increased as well.
- The increase is mainly being seen in 211 – we have experienced a 71% increase in 211 contacts from January 26-November 30 compared to the same time period last year and a 52% increase compared to November last year.
- In November, COVID-19 was the 10th top issue on crisis contacts. The top issues on COVID-19 related crisis contacts were Anxiety, Isolation/Loneliness and Family Relationships. The top issues on all crisis contacts were Anxiety, Depressed Mood and Family Relationships.
- In November, the top needs on COVID-19 related 211 contacts were Information Sources, Undesignated Temporary Financial Assistance and Banking and Financial Services.
- The top needs on all 211 contacts were Information and Referral, Holiday Programs and Information Sources.
- The significant spike in needs and unmet needs related to Medical Equipment/Supplies earlier this year is related to inquirers reaching out in regard to accessing the Government of Alberta’s nonmedical mask distribution program.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.