A free confidential online text and/or chat program to provide support for people experiencing emotional distress or crisis. The service is available from 2pm – 2am daily. Click on the “Chat Now” link at the top of our website, or text “support” to 258258.

Education and Training

  • Learning and Networking Conferences
  • Learning Forums video library
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Joint training initiatives

Marketing and Public Awareness

Promotion of the Distress Centre Movement to the Public
Spirit of Volunteerism Award
Promotional information to existing and potential Partner Agencies

Communication and Information

  • Annual General Meeting
  • Lunch and Learn Sessions for member organization Executive
  • Directors and Senior Staff
  • DCO Committees
  • e-News and Views monthly
  • Newsletter
  • SIOM Data Collection and Analysis
  • Promotional information to existing and potential Partner Agencies

Provincial Voice

Liaison with funding bodies, government and the public
Volunteer Recruitment awareness
Liaison with other stakeholders, friends and partners Research partnerships

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Help Line Distress Line

A free telephone help-line for people experiencing emotional distress (including suicide), providing confidential and caring emotional support. Most centres are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, even when other agencies are closed. Available: Durham, London, Niagara, North Halton, Oakville, Ottawa, Peel, Toronto, Waterloo Region, Wellington-Dufferin Available other times: Cambridge (12 hours daily – various); Lanark, Leeds and Grenville (5 pm to 12 am); Kingston (7pm – 3am); Outaouais (7am – 2am); Windsor-Essex (12pm – 12am)


A help line dedicated to youth. Available: Waterloo Region, Wellington-Dufferin

Help line (Distress Line) – languages other than English

French: Ottawa
French: Outauouais
Translation available in 151 languages: Toronto
TTY for hearing impaired: Toronto, Peel, Wellington-Dufferin

Ears Line

A help line for male victims of sexual assault. Available: Waterloo Region

Seniors’ Helpline

A help line for seniors, answered by volunteer who are also seniors. Special emphasis on identifying signs of senior abuse. Follow-up is available by social workers (Peel only). Available: Peel, London

Mobile Crisis Team

Mobile Crisis Team works closely with hospital emergency rooms, psychiatrists and police to ensure a safe and comprehensive response to a person in crisis. Available: Ottawa, Peel, Waterloo, Wellington/Dufferin

Emergency Shelter Line

A help line for people needing temporary, emergency shelter. Available: Wellington-Dufferin.

Call out service

Repeated callers are invited to receive scheduled calls to give them safety during a short-term but ongoing crisis. Available: Durham


A daily call out service checks on elderly or disabled people in their homes. Available: Sarnia, Wellington-Dufferin

Ongoing Support Program

Provides emotional support and suicide and crisis intervention for people with depression and mental illness during periodic difficulties. Available: Peel

Volunteer Training

All Distress Centres offer a place to volunteer in a meaningful way that will change the lives of hurting people. Training is extensive, and the skills gained are essential in life and work. Volunteers learn active listening skills, how to deal with a crisis, and much more. For more information, click here (link to volunteer page).

ASIST Training

Recognized around the world, this two-day workshops teaches “suicide first aid” to participants, in a highly interactive and effective format. People who have attended rave about the course, telling how much more competent and confident they feel to help someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts. Offered as part of volunteer training in some locations, to Distress Centre volunteers and staff, and to the community. For more information, click here ( Available: Ottawa, Wellington/Dufferin, Niagara

Community Education

Professional Distress Centre trainers provide talks in high schools, work places, or in community groups about suicide, signs to watch out for, and how to prevent it. They also provide seminars on active listening.
Available: Durham; Kingston, Niagara, Oakville, Ottawa, Peel, Toronto

Workplace Training

Do you answer phones at work, or deal with disgruntled clients? Discover the secrets Distress Centres have learned, practice techniques to calm distressed people, and watch customer and employee satisfaction rise. Popular with many corporate and government groups. Custom fit to meet your needs. Available for a fee: Ottawa, Durham, Oakville, Toronto

Suicide Survivor support

Support for people who have lost loved ones due to suicide. Individualized counseling, support group and informational resources. Available: Durham, Toronto

Homicide survivor support

Support for people who have lost loved ones due to homicide. Individualized counseling, support group and informational resources. Available: Durham, Toronto

Resource Centre

Various books, periodicals or videos can be borrowed on subjects such as mental health, addictions, suicide, grief, homicide. Trained staff can provide referrals. Available: Durham, Ottawa, Waterloo (database of resources)

Welcome to Distress and Crisis Ontario

At a DC you can find a listening ear for lonely, depressed, and/or suicidal people, usually 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many centres also have Suicide Survivor programs, support services for youth, telephone call out programs for seniors and vulnerable people, mental health Crisis Lines services and much more.

If you are in distress, crisis or are having suicidal thoughts

we are here to help and support

For Text Support, Text SUPPORT to 258258