See this update as a video!

After a rainy start to the season, it feels like summer is finally here. With the recent sunny weather comes spending time outside, festivals, going to Calaway Park and all the other sunny weather activities we can take part in. But at Distress Centre, we know the joy that many experience with the onset of summer is short-lived, or isn’t something they experience at all. We know that mental health issues like anxiety and depression don’t take the summer off. Having kids out of school means that the cost of child care goes up, and tensions at home can rise. Some people aren’t well enough to participate in the outdoor activities they used to enjoy. We talk to people with these kinds of challenges every day, and many of the staff and volunteers at Distress Centre experience these challenges as well.

Since embedding self-care into our Strategic Plan earlier this year, we’ve been talking about what self-care means to us here at Distress Centre. We realized that along with encouraging self-care, we have to work together to create a community of care. This is important at Distress Centre for our staff and volunteers, but it’s also important for the communities we live in.

We took this idea of creating a community of care to our staff this summer. Here’s what the members of our team had to say:

  • Human connection and belonging is at the heart of what we do. Society has created a culture of busy, which can get in the way of us connecting at times. We have to create time and space to support one another.
  • Peer support matters. Find someone who understands what you’re going through and stay connected, through regular check-ins, coffee or lunch meetings, or getting some fresh air together.
  • Flexibility is important. Everyone wants more control over their day to day lives. We spend a lot of time at work with our colleagues; an environment where we are better able to meet our team’s needs leads to us better supporting our callers and clients.

We hope you have a wonderful summer, whatever that looks like for you. Take some time to focus on your own self-care, and reach out to someone in your community to make sure they are okay. It may seem like a small thing to you, but it might mean the world to that person.

We would love to see you at Distress Centre’s Lend an Ear fundraising event on September 24, 4:30 pm, at the U of C downtown campus. Tickets can be purchased at