Distress Centre Calgary

we serve these populations

  • aging population
  • children and youth
  • Disabilities
  • homelessness
  • immigrant newcomers
  • indigenous communities
  • veterans
  • women

we need help with:

  • mental health

Requesting $500000


We, at Distress Centre, believe what we do makes the world a better place. We help change the mental health sector through the power of compassionate service and connection to community resources. We are a centralized hub that connects people to the help they need, offer 24/7 wellness support, mental health education, and move Albertans from crisis into stability.

For over 50 years, Distress Centre has provided empathetic, accessible and resiliency-based services focused on intervention and prevention. We are proud to be a leader in mental health and wellness support for Calgary and area, Southern Alberta and across Canada.

In 2022, Distress Centre responded to 144,958 contacts 

For many teens and adults, Distress Centre is one of the first organizations they connect with, to access the vital resources they need to maintain and improve their overall well-being. We deliver and evolve our services, based upon the needs of our clients.

We know our clients lean on many services in our community, beyond the programs available at Distress Centre. Therefore, we work collaboratively with other community organizations, municipal services, and local and provincial governments to ensure Calgarians are connected and receiving the right health, social and government resources they need, when they need it.

Our Programs – How We Do It

211 Services for Southern Alberta

  • No cost, no referral required, available 24/7 via phone, text, chat and email.
  • Confidential comprehensive information and referral system that helps Albertans find the right community, social, health and government resource or service for whatever issue they need help with, at the right time. Available in over 200 languages by phone.
  • Delivered by 45-55 full-time, part-time and relief staff with a post-secondary degree or diploma with a human services designation such as social work and psychology.

Distress Centre Programs at SORCe (Safe Communities Opportunity & Resource Centre)

  • A multi-agency collaborative, working out of a single location, that connects people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, to programs and services that can help to address the barriers to stable housing.
  • In 2022, 7,583 clients were supported, which is a 25% increase compared to 2021.

Familiar Voices – NEW OPPORTUNITY

  • No cost, opt-in program for Familiar Voices clients
  • Familiar Voices clients are individuals who struggle with numerous complexities and rely upon Distress Centre’s Crisis line for daily and weekly mental health support, which helps de-escalate their concern(s) but does not address root issue(s).
  • In 2022, the 150 Familiar Voices clients accounted for 30% of all Crisis Line interactions.
  • Proposing a specialized preventative model to support Familiar Voices clients’ complexities while opening Crisis Line capacity for other individuals and families.

Crisis Lines * HIGHEST NEED

  • No cost, no referral required, available 24/7 via phone, text, chat and email.
  • Confidential peer for adults in Calgary and area, Southern Alberta and across Canada.
  • In 2022, 57,921 connections were made through the Crisis Lines.


  • No cost, no referral required, available 24/7 via phone, text and chat.
  • Confidential peer support service for youth in Calgary and area.
  • In 2022, 5,163 connects were made through ConnecTeen.

Crisis Counselling * HIGHEST NEED

  • No cost, by appointment.
  • General short-term crisis counselling for individuals, families or couples coping with a crisis.
  • In 2022, Distress Centre had an average of 156 new counselling intakes per month.

Basic Needs Fund * HIGHEST NEED

  • Referral required, one-time access.
  • Emergency support to individuals and families in Calgary who are struggling with a financial crisis.
  • In 2022, the Basic Needs Fund distributed $290,850 to 328 individuals and families who needed one-time financial assistance.

Community Training

  • Fee for training, online self-directed learning or facilitated group booking.
  • Mental health and crisis education with practical skill development.

Our Requests – What You Can Do

Distress Centre Calgary is seeking programmatic funding of various gift sizes.  Your investment will help fund Distress Centre’s programs and services, including 24 hour crisis support, youth peer support, professional counselling, education and training and technological solutions. Your support makes it possible for us to provide all our services at no cost to the service user.

We would be honoured to discuss custom stewardship & recognition opportunities in appreciation of your support.

To find out more and stay connected with Distress Centre!

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Are you a Calgary Foundation Fundholder?

Contact Info

Karen Gallagher-Burt

Director, Strategy and Engagement



More Info

Charity Number: #107021024RR0001

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Financial Statements / Annual Reports

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Financial Statements / Annual Reports

Download PDF