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Why Distress Centre Matters: “Calling this line helps me feel less isolated.”

Why Distress Centre Matters: “Calling this line helps me feel less isolated.”

“Distress Centre, Gwen speaking.”

“Hello, my name is Mary*,” said a soft voice on the other end of the line. “I’m having a hard day.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” responded Gwen, a crisis line volunteer at Distress Centre. “Do you want to tell me about it?”

Mary sighed. “I’ve had some pretty severe health problems. I don’t want to get into the details but I can’t leave my house right now. I’m alone in my home all day. It’s hard.”

“That sounds frustrating,” Gwen said.

“I’m a senior,” Mary continued. “I’ve tried to keep in touch with people through email, but I have a hard time reading them and an even harder time trying to type a response. This new technology is just too much for me. There’s no one in my life who can visit me, and no one who I can call. I’ve called Distress Centre a couple of times recently and I’m glad I have that option.

Calling this line helps me feel less isolated.”

Since June, we’ve received over 10,000 crisis calls per month from callers like Mary. In December, we’ve shared 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 support callers like Mary. For the final few days of December, Monarch is matching donations (up to $5000). Donate before the year ends to have your donation doubled! With matching, that comes to $10,000 for our crisis services!

Please donate before midnight on December 31st to receive a 2018 tax receipt!

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Including offline donations, we’ve raised $2555 total so far! With Monarch matching donations, that comes to $5110 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.