The PARO (Professional Association of Residents of Ontario) 24 Hour Helpine is available to residents, their partners and family members, as well as medical students. The toll-free number, 1-866-HELP-DOC (1-866-435-7362), is accessible anywhere in Ontario, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In order to provide this service, PARO has partnered with Distress Centres of Toronto.

When you call the toll-free number you will be directly connected to a Helpline volunteer. These volunteers have had extensive training in acute crisis intervention, depression, anxiety and many other conditions. They have also received special training relating specifically to residents including information about hours of work, working conditions and common stressors. All calls are strictly confidential and cannot be traced.

In addition to providing immediate assistance in emergency or urgent matters, the Helpline will provide referrals for such issues as but not limited to:

  • Stress management
  • Eating disorders
  • Sexual, emotional or physical abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Anger management
  • Depression
  • Gender issues
  • Intimidation or harassment
  • Substance abuse
  • Relationship counselling
  • Career or work-related crisis
  • Sexual issues

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.



Distress Centres leadership and volunteers have a wealth of knowledge and in-depth personal stories that provide insights which are relevant on a variety of mental health, risk and crisis support, suicide prevention/postvention topics. 

Our team offers information, skills training, speakers and consultation on request. We provide information packages and custom workshops.

On-site facilitation is also available to agencies, residents and other groups.


To find out more information about the PARO 24 Hour Helpline please contact the PARO office at 416 979-1182 or toll free at 1 877 979-1183 or email