Our 408-HELP line provides telephone support to individuals in the community who are at risk and their most vulnerable. Highly-trained volunteer responders (with the support of professional staff) connect with callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Our team provides callers with emotional support and crisis intervention when they are socially isolated, marginalized, struggling with chronic mental health problems, in distress, attempting to navigate family violence or in need of emergency response or suicide prevention + intervention + postvention.

Our 408-HELP line provides:

  • Emotional support service for those with chronic mental health problems

  • Support & crisis intervention services for those currently experiencing distress or crisis

  • Family violence response

  • Suicide prevention services

  • Emergency intervention and response

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When I began volunteering at Distress Centres, I never imagined what a positive impact this type of work would have on the lives of others as well as on my own life. Distress Centres has provided me with the opportunity to refine my listening and helping skills, to become a more empathetic and nonjudgmental listener, and to be involved in something that I am truly passionate about. I always look forward to my shifts at Distress Centres, not only because I enjoy the work I do in the phone room, but because the staff members and other volunteers provide such a warm and inviting environment. There aren’t too many places that are filled with such caring and empathetic people in one room! Volunteering for Distress Centres has become more than just a volunteer position for me; it has become part of who I am. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that one phone call can truly make a difference in someone’s life.
— 408 HELP Line Volunteer Responder
THANK YOU. Talking to one of you over the phone lifted weight off of me when I was feeling lonely and like I was losing who I was. Having someone truly listen gave me energy and strength to see how doing some things to take care of myself better is possible, and it is not all so overwhelming. I am completing a Bachelor of Social Work and have been accepted into a Master of Social Work program. I have been feeling the effects of giving too much without debriefing and re-energizing, and was hurting a lot when I called you at Distress Centres. I know that the work I do can give energy and strength to others, just like you gave to me. I appreciate the anonymity, though I wish I could praise and give credit to the counsellor who I spoke to. She was excellent, thanks to your thoughtful, amazing training, I’m sure. Thank you and take care of yourself by talking to each other (as the counsellor on the phone suggested).
— 408-HELP line Caller
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become a Volunteer RESPONDER

If you have ever wanted to contribute to the community in a meaningful way, volunteering at Distress Centres has a wealth of opportunities.

Under the supervision of professional staff, all volunteers are carefully screened and fully trained prior to taking calls or working with callers, program participants or survivors of loss.

Volunteers also receive ongoing professional support and in-service education sessions.

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CANADA SUICIDE PREVENTION SERVICE (CSPS), CRISIS AND SUICIDE PHONE AND TEXT SUPPORT

The Canada Suicide Prevention Service has a phone and text service that allows individuals in the community who are in crisis or suicidal to get the support they need.

The CSPS text service allows you to reach out without having to speak over the phone. Our crisis and suicidal text support is available from 4:00 pm to 12 midnight each day and can be accessed by texting 45645.

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For more information on this program's services please connect with 408helpline@torontodistresscentre.com

If you would like to discuss funding, partnership or donation opportunities for this program; please connect with us at: donate@torontodistresscentre.com.