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Why Distress Centre Matters: “I just filed for bankruptcy. I want to thank you.”

Why Distress Centre Matters: “I just filed for bankruptcy. I want to thank you.”

“Distress Centre, Omar speaking.”

“Hello, my name is Adam*,” said the voice on the other end of the phone. Omar*, a crisis line volunteer in the Distress Centre contact centre, listened intently. “I just filed for bankruptcy and I am so relieved. I just wanted to call and say thank you.”

“I’m happy to hear you’re relieved,” Omar responded. “But why are you thanking me?”

“I’ve called this crisis line many times over the last few months,” Adam said. “I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious financial issues.” He paused. “I thought about ending my life many times… But having someone to talk to helped tremendously. I just want to tell you how grateful I am for all the volunteers at Distress Centre. Thank you for listening to me.”

Omar thanked Adam for sharing his appreciation, and then helped Adam develop a safety plan if he was ever experiencing thoughts of suicide again. He congratulated Adam on taking the steps necessary to sort out his financial life and encouraged him to call back anytime he needed to talk.

In 2017, Distress Centre intervened in 98 suicides in progress, and prevented hundreds more. This year, we have received over 10,000 crisis calls per month since June. In December, we’re sharing some of our users’ stories to explore why Distress Centre matters.

We need your help. Demand for our services has increased significantly in 2018, and suicide remains a top issue. 70% of our contacts occur in the evening, so we need to keep online services open longer. This means additional midnight staff are needed 365 days of the year.

Donate to Distress Centre, so we can continue to celebrate growth with callers like Adam.

For the rest of December, Monarch is matching donations (up to $5000)! Donate before December 31st to have your donation doubled. With matching, that comes to $10,000 for our crisis services!

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Including offline donations, we’ve raised $2080 total so far! With Monarch matching donations, that comes to $4160 for our crisis services.

Read previous stories on why Distress Centre matters.

*This story is based on a real call we received. Identifying details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the caller and volunteer.

In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, Distress Centre Calgary would like to honour and acknowledge Moh’kinsstis, and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, as well as the Îyâxe Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. Finally, we acknowledge all Nations – Indigenous and non – who live, work and play on this land, and who honour and celebrate this territory.