Distress Centre Oakville held its first Defeat Depression Walk at Sixteen Mile Creek Trail, starting and ending at Lions Valley Park yesterday.
The centre has been assisting people with mental health and other issues in Oakville and the surrounding community for 41 years through its telephone support line, which is available to those in crisis every day of the week 24/7.
The group also provides online support with Crisis Chat/Text.
This feature lets individuals connect one-on-one, in real time, with a Crisis Chat volunteer from their computer or smart phone.
Providing this kind of constant support costs money, however, and while Distress Centre Oakville relies heavily on volunteers and receives funds from the United Way of Oakville (UWO) and others — more is needed to keep the operation going.
“It is important that when someone calls, we are able to answer the call,” said Craig Redick, executive director of Distress Centre Oakville.
“We want to make sure our systems are up to date and functioning properly and there is a cost to that.”
Redick said he also wants to expand the centre’s Crisis Chat service, which is currently not available 24/7.
Recruiting and training volunteers to speak with people in crisis, or dealing with extreme loneliness or emotional stress, is another expense.
To maintain existing services and improve them, the organization hoped to raise $25,000 through its Defeat Depression Walk.
For more information about the walk or Distress Centre Oakville, visit www.dcoakville.com.
By Eric Riehl