June 2021 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. If you need help, please reach out. Distress Centre also has several programs available at SORCe for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
Please note that 211 does not book vaccine appointments. Call 811 or book online. You can contact 211 to connect to resources for transportation to vaccine appointments, including a recent partnership with Uber.
The following report details the COVID-19 related crisis and 211 contacts responded to by Distress Centre Calgary in May 2021:
- The volume of high-risk contacts has increased. In May, we experienced a 36% increase in suicide related contacts compared to May 2020. YTD, we have experienced 36% increase in suicide related contacts compared to the same period last year. In May 2021, Suicide Ideation remained the 3rd top issue on crisis contacts. To our knowledge, January 2021 marked the first time that suicide entered the top 3 issues on Distress Centre’s crisis lines.
- COVID-19 remains a top issue on Distress Centre’s 211 contacts. In May, 55% of 211 contacts and 9% of crisis contacts were related to COVID-19. The increase in COVID-19 related contacts in 211 can be largely attributed to 211 supporting Albertans with accessing isolation supports and transportation to vaccination appointments.
- Our 211 contact volumes have increased – we experienced a 141% increase in 211 contacts in May 2021 compared to May 2020.
- In May, COVID-19 was the 8th top issue on crisis contacts. The top issues on COVID-19 related crisis contacts were Anxiety, Isolation/Loneliness and Depressed Mood. The top issues on all crisis contacts were Anxiety, Depressed Mood and Suicide Ideation.
- In May, the top needs on COVID-19 related 211 contacts were Communicable Disease Control, Food Outlets and Undesignated Temporary Financial Assistance (excluding Information Sources and Information and Referral, which describe most calls to 211).
- The top needs on all 211 contacts were Undesignated Temporary Financial Assistance, Basic Income Maintenance Programs and Emergency Food (excluding Information Sources and Information and Referral, which describe most calls to 211).
- In May, the top unmet needs on COVID-19 related 211 contacts were Communicable Disease Control, Undesignated Temporary Financial Assistance, and Food Outlets (excluding Information Sources). The top unmet needs on all 211 contacts were Emergency Shelter and Undesignated Temporary Financial Assistance, with Utility Assistance and Housing Expense Assistance tied for the third top unmet need (excluding Information and Referral).
- The top reason for inquirers’ needs not being met in May were client was ineligible for services, no program found to meet the need and client withdrew (excluding caller refused referral).
- Please see the full report for more in depth descriptions of the above met and unmet needs.
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For additional information on Distress Centre’s monthly data and trends by program (Crisis and 211), please visit Monthly Data Reports.
Anyone interested in learning more about needs and unmet needs across the province can visit the 211 Alberta COVID-19 Data Dashboard.