If you are in crisis, feeling suicidal  or need emotional support Please call our 408-HELP line now at 416-408-4357.

If this is an emergency - Please call 911.


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

become a 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
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

Long-term goal:

To decrease the risk of suicide by improving the emotional well-being and personal resiliency of those who call.


    Short-term goals:

    1. To provide vulnerable individuals in the community experiencing situational distress or emotional crisis with 24/7 access to life-sustaining support.

    2. To increase the sense of personal safety and resiliency of individuals in crisis.

    3. To improve the emotional quality of life of isolated/marginalized individuals through emotional support and community linkages.
    4. To ensure that all emotional first aid is provided in a culturally competent and inclusive manner.

    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.