Distress Centre Halton is a non-profit charitable organization that provides telephone and online support to people 365 days of the year. We are a unique service in that we train volunteers for front-line work providing emotional support and befriending to people in distress or crisis.
Our service improves the health and wellness of people in our community and the quality of life of those who are feeling alone, isolated, and vulnerable.
Distress Centre Halton has a volunteer Board of Directors. We have 2 full-time staff and 3 part-time staff. We have 2 locations in Oakville and Georgetown. Currently we have approximately 150 volunteers between the two Centres.
The Distress Line is the core of our service offering. Our volunteers are trained to provide emotional support and encouragement, suicide risk assessment and prevention, as well as community resource and referral information.
TeleCheck is our outbound call program that supports isolated seniors, people struggling with their mental health, caregivers, Alzheimer’s patients, clients awaiting mental health services, or people needing additional community mental health support.
We’re available to speak with your club, class, or groups about the services provided by Distress Centre Halton, or to teach courses on active listening skills and mental health in general.
Dara Eisner Clancy - Executive Director
Brenda Buchanan - Manager, Volunteer & Client Services
Linda Jaklich - Volunteer Coordinator
Kathleen Bontigao-Legaspi - TeleCheck Coordinator
Rose Ford - Coordinator, Office Operations & Administration
And our 150+ trained volunteers.
Richard Darjes - Chair
Gail Cartwright - Secretary
Eric Hotson - Special Advisor to the Board
Florence Fiorino - Special Advisor to the Board
Kristin Madarasz - Social Media
Distress Centre Halton is an amalgamation of 3 small Centres that originated in the 1970s – Distress Centre Oakville, Distress Centre North Halton, and Telecare Burlington. In April 2019 the Centres legally amalgamated and officially became Distress Centre Halton.
Originally, volunteers answered the phone lines on Friday and Saturday nights only. As the demand for the service grew, the hours were extended to 24/7, 365 days of the year. In 2018 we responded to approximately 15,000 conversations.