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CONFIDENTIAL CHAT

Some people know from early in their lives what they have passion for. The vast majority however, discover which areas interest them through experience and exploration. For Romit Panesar, a crisis line and leadership volunteer at Distress Centre, an unexpected introduction to mental illness is what drove him to find his passion in life. Romit spent...

Distress Centre staff holding signs and a banner with the DC logo on it

Image: Distress Centre staff at the 2019 United Way Parade. Read - 50 Stories Part 42 Distress Centre has always depended on corporate, government and private funders in order to fulfill their mandate in the community. In 2019, for example, 40 organizations provided major funding to DC, many of them long-term partners. To list all those who...

Image: Distress Centre counsellors in 2017. Read - 50 Stories Part 41 The professional qualifications for Distress Centre counsellors have increased over 50 years, as has the complexity and number of clients they see. Less than 300 sessions in 1970 became 1,650 in 2010 and 2,900 in 2019. The majority of referrals now come from an online...

Image: Jerilyn Dressler (middle) accepting the City of Calgary Award for Community Advocate Organization in 2018. With Mayor Naheed Nenshi (left) and Ward 10 Councillor Ray Jones. Photo courtesy of the City of Calgary. Read - 50 Stories Part 40 At the start of 2010, no one could have predicted that Distress Centre would be delivering services...

Image: Carol Oliver at the 2008 Distress Centre picnic. Read - 50 Stories Part 39 With the retirement of Barb Litchinsky, Carol Oliver assumed the role of Executive Director in May 2008. She had previous leadership experience at both The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter and United Way. Three board members who all served as her Chair recall...

Image: The Distress Centre Board with Executive Director Barb Litchinsky at the 2004 volunteer banquet. Read - 50 Stories Part 38 A 30-year review of Distress Centre by consultants Deep Blue included examining the role of the Board of Directors. Generally, the board was reported to be cohesive and well functioning, professional, and diverse in gender but...

Image: Teen Line volunteer Christmas party in 2000. Read - 50 Stories Part 37 In 2005 the Distress Centre’s youth program was named one of the best youth volunteer programs in the city by Volunteer Calgary's Youth Council. Nevertheless, with the many advances in technology that came mid-decade, the teen lines needed an upgrade. In cooperation with...

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