2020 Fast Facts

In 2020, we responded to 127,747 contacts. 98% of surveyed users reported they would use Distress Centre’s services again.

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

We are Calgary’s ONLY 24 hour 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


Crisis line and ConnecTeen volunteers gave 23,404 hours in the contact centre.

  • 110 new volunteers completed the crisis intervention training online.
  • 100% 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 $409,570 in savings in salaries.

Crisis Services

Our highly trained volunteers and staff responded to 65,762 crisis calls, 5,947 chats, 2,024 texts and 388 emails.

We received the highest number of suicide related contacts ever:

  • Suicide was a presenting issue on 17% of 55,158 calls
  • We recorded 1050 emergency interventions
  • 43.2% of at-risk contacts were de-escalated

The top four crisis caller concerns were mental health, anxiety, isolation and relationships.


In 2020, we completed 2,652 face-to-face counselling sessions.

  • We saw an 4% increase in counselling intakes averaging 140 per month
  • Suicide ideation increased by 64%
  • Self-esteem as an issue saw a 105% increase


Our 211 line connected 43,355 service users with the specific resources they needed.

  • We saw a 68% increase in contact volume
  • We saw a 274% increase in completed follow-up contacts
  • 98% of surveyed called indicated they would use 211 again

The Community Resource Database ensures our 211 staff have the most up-to-date resource information available.

Basic Needs Fund

  • We distributed over $362,797 to 373 clients. This was a 68% increase over 2019
  • 92% of surveyed clients reported the Basic Needs Fund helped stabilize their personal crisis


In 2020, ConnecTeen responded to 4,679 calls, chats, emails and texts.

Programs at SORCe

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 2020 with a total of $192,000 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 4,359 clients.