2021 Fast Facts

In 2021, we responded to 152,272 contacts. This includes crisis, ConnecTeen, 211, counselling and SORCe contacts, as well as well as contacts taken on behalf of partner agencies, including Canada Suicide Prevention Service, the Family Violence Info Line and the Bullying Helpline.

Distress Centre offers 24/7 crisis and 211 support by phone, chat and text. Phone support is available in over 200 languages. Our youth program ConnecTeen provides youth crisis support and daily peer support. We provide free, confidential crisis counselling. Our programs at SORCe serve clients experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.


Volunteers gave 46,365 hours in the contact centre and remotely.

  • 213 new volunteers undertook training
  • 93% 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 $758,887 in savings in salaries

Crisis Support

Our highly trained responders responded to 65,536 crisis contacts. In 2021, we introduced crisis text and crisis text and chat expanded to 24 hour availability.

  • 49% of all online contacts identified suicide as a top concern and we generally received increasing numbers of suicide-related contacts during the year.
  • However, we did not see an equal increase in emergency intervention. 994 emergency interventions were supported by Distress Centre in 2021, a 5% decrease compared to the year before
  • The top four crisis caller concerns were anxiety, depressed mood, suicide ideation and family relationships

ConnecTeen volunteers and staff responded to 4,689 contacts

  • 95.9% of surveyed ConnecTeen users reported a stable or reduced level of distress at the end of their chat session


211 responded to 53,842 contacts in 2021.

  • We saw a 24% increase in contact volume from 2020. This includes all calls, chats and texts, as well as follow-up contacts with service users.
  • There was a 36% increase in completed follow-up contacts
  • The Community Resource Database team kept community resource and service information up-to-date
  • Issues included queries on the latest public health regulations, coping with social isolation, financial struggles, childcare challenges and help for suicidal ideation

Basic Needs Fund

We distributed over $338,914 to individuals and families who needed one-time financial assistance.

94% of surveyed clients reported that their situation improved since accessing the Basic Needs Fund.


In 2021, 2,327 counselling contacts were completed.

  • We saw a 19% increase in counselling intakes averaging 167 per month
  • 97% of clients at the end of counselling said they are better able to cope with what brought them into counselling

Programs at SORCe

  • 6,067 clients were supported in 2021
  • Housing assessment volumes increased by 14%

Partner Agency Support

In addition to our 24 hour crisis line, we also answer the following:

  • Crisis Services Canada – Canada Suicide Prevention Service (now called Talk Suicide)
  • Calgary Senior’s Resource Society – SeniorConnect
  • The Way In – 403-SENIORS
  • Bullying Helpline
  • Family Violence Information Line

18,252 contacts were answered in collaboration with our partner agencies.