Distress Centre Halton is a non-profit charitable organization that provides telephone 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, 5 full-time staff and 3 part-time staff. We have 2 locations in Oakville and Georgetown. Currently we have approximately 200 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, de-escalation techniques, and mental health in general.
Dara Eisner Clancy - Executive Director
Mark Howarth - Senior Manager, Administration & Operations
Kathleen Legaspi, BSW, RSW - Senior Manager, TeleCheck Program
Victoria Bello - Coordinator, Volunteer Services
Rose Ford - Donor Management & Communications
Lauren Anastasi - Community & Volunteer Engagement, Hamilton
Sarah Gleeson - Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Katica Juric - Volunteer Coordinator
And our 200+ trained volunteers.
Gail Cartwright - Chair
Richard Darjes - Treasurer
Eric Hotson - Special Advisor to the Board
Florence Fiorino - Special Advisor to the Board
Kristin Madarasz - Social Media Advisor
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 2022 we responded to 33,622 conversations.