Creating a Network of Emergency and Mental Health Support


© Pexels/Inzmam Khan/Distress and Crisis Ontario

You need to talk? Our member centres are here to listen to you…

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Ontarians reach out to distress centres across the province, seeking guidance, emergency services, or simply a listening ear. These programs make a significant impact in Ontario’s communities and can be lifesaving for those who reach out.

Distress centres offer instant support and a variety of services to their communities. The Distress and Crisis Ontario (DCO) is building a community that strengthens this impact so more people can reach out to distress and crisis line services when they need them.

In support of advocacy, networking, and training for many Distress centres across Ontario, DCO provides resources, benefits, and information for distress centres through their membership program.

The goal of DCO is to increase the capacity of community-based organizations offering distress and crisis line services by supporting distress centres across Ontario, allowing responders to provide services to those who are feeling lonely, depressed, struggling with suicidal ideations, or are otherwise in need of support.

The membership is curated for organizations that provide telephone, chat, and text-based distress guidance to those in their communities, as well as for multi-service organizations with specialized telephone, chat, text, and web-based support for their communities and at-risk populations.

“In everything we do, we aim to provide advocacy for our members and the distress/crisis sector, training opportunities for volunteers and leadership, and to foster networking among member centres to allow for partnerships and growth among the sector,” the website reads.

After signing up, members get access to learning forums and webinars, newsletters, and the volunteer recognition program Spirit of Volunteerism, which shows appreciation to those who selflessly give of themselves to help their communities. As well, members receive access to the DCO website and membership portal for up-to-date information and resource sharing, providing the opportunity for ongoing learning.

DCO has membership locations across the province, ensuring that the services of distress centres are well received by those in need, regardless of the area or crisis. At member distress centres, a variety of real-time support services are offered, including helplines, a pride line, online and text crisis services, suicide survivor support, and more. DCO works to create opportunities for connectedness and collaboration within its network of distress centres, with a focus on accountability, collaboration and empowerment, inclusion, integrity, and leadership. Each member has the power to make an incredible difference in the lives of others.

In times of crisis, Ontarians can trust that they have someone who will listen, and that access makes all the difference. DCO fosters an environment of collaboration and networking while providing universal access to support for individuals in distress and crisis.

Find more information and become a member at

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Distress and Crisis Ontario (DCO) is an administrative membership association that supports advocacy, networking, and training for Distress Centres (DCs) across Ontario.


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