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About Us

Distress Centre Niagara officially began operating on October 3rd, 1970. The St. Catharines Jaycees conducted a survey among social service agencies to determine the need for a phone-in service. The response was overwhelming and a 24-hour telephone service commenced under the name Care-Line. On March 16th, 1984 the name was changed to Distress Centre of St.Catharines and District. The reason for this change was to maintain consistency with our provincial organization, Distress Centre Ontario.

On July 2nd, 1992 our name changed to Distress Centre Niagara to reflect a change in coverage as we set up a Foreign Exchange Line to provide toll-free service to the Welland area.

The service providers in 1970 were trained volunteer listeners and more than 40 years later Distress Centre volunteer crisis workers are still providing this service.

The Centre progressed in many ways as it entered it second decade of operation: a standardized data retrieval system was adopted through Distress Centres Ontario, training reconstruction, computerization and facilitating a suicide survivor support group.

In 1998, Distress Centre Niagara expanded by providing service to the few remaining communities in the Niagara Region who did not have a toll-free access to our service (Fort Erie, Grimsby). Secondly; Distress Centre Niagara began providing volunteers for face-to-face work at Community Crisis Care ( a walk-in crisis centre).

Mission Statement

Skilled Responders supporting the safety and emotional wellness of those in need.

Vision Statement

Responding to every person in need.

Core Values

Our organization strives on upholding and implementing these values to keep the respect and confidence of our community, volunteers and partnerships.

We respect the right to privacy as a consistent component of our services.
We provide person-centered services supporting and encouraging individuals to make healthy personal choices.
We lead the way with expertise in crisis, distress and suicide prevention through the highest standards of excellence and innovation.
We work with volunteers and partners across Niagara to provide support, awareness and training services to strengthen our community.
We treat everyone with dignity, respect and without judgment, valuing the diversity in our organization and community.