It feels good!   


2019 Fast Facts

In 2019, we responded to 133,834 contacts. We want to create a Calgary where everyone is heard.

Distress Centre offers 24/7 crisis and 211 phone service in over 200 languages.

We are Calgary’s ONLY 24/7 crisis intervention service.

We provide phone, email and chat support to anyone who needs to talk. We provide text support to youth, as well as youth peer support.

We provide free, confidential crisis counselling. Our counsellors are Masters level registered social workers and psychologists.

In addition to our 24 hour crisis line, we also answer the following:

  • Crisis Services Canada – Canada Suicide Prevention Service
  • Calgary Senior’s Resource Society – SeniorConnect
  • The Way In – 403-SENIORS
  • Bullying Helpline
  • Family Violence Information Line
  • Worker Safety Line


Crisis line and ConnecTeen volunteers gave 46,763 hours in the contact centre in 2019.

  • We onboarded 206 new volunteers who completed the crisis intervention training.
  • 95% of our volunteers say they use their volunteering skills outside of DC with their family, at school, work and in the community.
  • Our crisis line volunteers represent $875,000 savings to us on salaries. 

Crisis Services

Last year, our highly trained volunteers and workers responded to 74,359 crisis calls, 5,330 chats and 2,375 texts.

This year, we received the highest number of suicide related contacts ever:

  • 37% of text contacts were suicide related.
  • 17% of online contacts were suicide related.
  • 6,447, or 10% of phone contacts were suicide related.

The top four crisis caller concerns were psychological distress (stress), mental health, anxiety and relationships.


In 2019, we completed 2,652 face-to-face counselling sessions.

  • We saw a 117% increase in counselling intakes. We averaged 130 intakes per month or 30 intakes every week.
  • We saw an 8% increase in counselling referrals to Distress Centre over 2018.
  • We saw an 8% increase in counselling sessions completed over 2018.


In 2019, our 211 line connected 25,677 callers with the community resources they need.

  • 90% of surveyed callers reported they understand their needs better as a result of the contact

The Community Resource Database was brought in-house from the City of Calgary, ensuring our 211 staff have the most up-to-date resource information available.

Through our Basic Needs Fund, we distributed over $216,040 to 253 individuals and families who would otherwise be homeless or without critical utilities. This was a 17% increase over 2018.

  • 94% of surveyed clients reported the Basic Needs Fund helped stabilize their personal crisis.


In 2019, ConnecTeen responded to 5,557 calls, chats, emails and texts.

  • 97% of surveyed users felt respected.
  • 90% of surveyed users felt their concerns were respected and the service was helpful in dealing with their situation.

CAA, SORCe and Financial Empowerment

SORCe (Safe Communities Opportunity & Resource Centre) is a multi-agency collaborative resource centre that connects people who are experiencing or are at-risk of homelessness, to programs and services that can help to address the barriers to stable housing.

  • Our Financial Empowerment Program finished 2019 with a total of $1.2M in tax related benefits to our clients.

Distress Centre operates the Coordinated Access and Assessment (CAA) Team at SORCe. The CAA Housing Strategists at SORCe work with clients to develop individualized housing plans and connect them to wrap around supports both at SORCe and in the community.

  • The CAA team supported 11,279 clients.
  • 94% of CAA clients were satisfied.

Our Impact Funders: