Letter from our Board of Directors Chair and Executive Director

2017 was another challenging year for Calgarians, as we faced an economy that has been slow to recover. Once again, we continued to see the impact of this prolonged recession on our crisis lines and in our counselling and Basic Needs Fund programs. At Distress Centre, we were able to meet this demand, and continue to achieve our mission of providing compassionate, accessible crisis support to individuals in distress. This was thanks to the hard work of our highly-skilled staff and volunteers, a strong board, and the support of our funders and donors.

2017 was a year of growth at Distress Centre. We entered into new partnerships and service delivery agreements, and continued the important work of providing a 24-hour point of access for Calgarians in crisis. We once again responded to an increase in demand locally, but also achieved significant milestones together with our provincial 211 partners and national partners in suicide prevention.

We said goodbye to our former Executive Director, Joan Roy, after 25 years at our agency, and welcomed Jerilyn Dressler as our new Executive Director, in June 2017.

The ever-increasing demand for our services is pushing our contact centre to near capacity.

We are proud of what we accomplished in 2017, and look forward to revisiting our strategic vision and plan in 2018. We anticipate challenges ahead in 2018. The ever-increasing demand for our services is pushing our contact centre to near capacity. And demand for online support and extended online hours continues to climb. Both of these issues necessitate innovative approaches and additional funding to address. But with the continued strength and dedication of our staff, volunteers, and board, as well as the essential support of our funders and donors, we are confident that we will continue to realize our vision: Everyone is heard.

Leslie Weekes, Board Chair
Jerilyn Dressler, Executive Director

Connecting with Calgarians in crisis. You never know who might need support. It could be someone you know. Help us keep up with the growing need for all our services.