Distress Centres is a service provide of Ontario’s Online and Text Crisis and Distress Service (ONTX).

The Online Chat & Text (ONTX) service allows individuals in the community to communicate with us without having to speak over the phone on one of our crisis lines. It is a safe, confidential, one-on-one conversation with a highly-trained volunteer responder.

Service users are able to take the time that they may need to process what they want to say, work through how they are feeling, and communicate with privacy in a way that is comfortable for them. It also ensures that others cannot overhear them while they are connecting with us.

We encourage those who would prefer to communicate with someone online or by text about their feelings, concerns or problems, to access our ONTX service which is available between 2pm to 2am each day and can be accessed via our website in the chat window or by texting 741741.

Our Responders Are Here To Help

Please remember that high-quality support is a two-way street and there is a code of conduct that we and you will adhere to. You will see it in the terms and conditions section you can agree to before your online chat session starts.

It Is Confidential

ONTX service is confidential and the name you offer can be an alias.

You will notice that we are collecting some data regarding location, how you are feeling and whether we are offering you the help you need. Why are we doing this? To improve the quality of the service! The information you provide is not specific. It also helps us best serve the community in the future if you provide the information in both the pre and post surveys.


How To Text 

Text is available from your mobile phone from 2pm to 2am daily and is accessed by dialing 741741

You will need to complete a pre-chat survey and agree to terms and conditions of service and a responder will be available to you. Please remember to complete the post-text survey as well.

In addition to our online and text service, you can always call our 24-hour distress and crisis lines.  Just call 416-408-HELP (4357). We are here to listen to your feelings and concerns and support you.

How To Chat 

Chat is available on your computer, or mobile device from 2 pm to 2 am daily and is accessed by clicking the icon above. 

Complete the pre-chat survey, agree to the terms and conditions and a responder will be available to chat. Please remember to complete the post-chat survey as well.


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.



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.

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

For donation or funding information with regards to this program please connect with donations@torontodistresscentre.com