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

The Distress Centre of Niagara is a 24-hour, free, confidential telephone crisis intervention support service available to anyone in need in the Niagara Region. We conduct community education and outreach through workshops, community events and partnerships, in order to enhance support services and public trust in our communities.

“We provide support to individuals in distress or crisis and education to the Niagara community which assists people to take ownership of personal choices and manage their lives in a healthy manner.”

Vision Statement

The Distress Centre of Niagara will be a credible, safe, reliable, securely funded and easily accessible deliverer of high quality education and training. We provide emotional support, efficient and cost effective suicide intervention and prevention techniques and communication skills. We are commited to be responsive to the needs of the Niagara Region and surrounding communties.

“Every person in need has a caring person to talk with”

Company Values

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

We believe that our policies and our day-to-day work must be true to our shared values and dedicated to promoting trust, safety and well-being.
Standards of Excellence
We recognize the need for continuous self-evaluation, innovation and on-going training (education) in order to maintain the highest standard of service.
Respect For All Persons
We treat everyone with dignity and are non-judgemental, using the opportunity provided in our roles to appropriately foster positive relationships.
We embrace and support the spirit of philanthropy and the value of voluntary action toward the enrichment of the community and individual lives.
We support individuals in taking ownership of personal choices and expanding their capacity to manage their lives in a healthy manner.
We will continue to deliver on our commitments.
We provide appropriate and timely service in an empathetic manner, servicing the best interest of the service user.
Community Based
We ensure that services and programs are relevant and responsive to individual and community needs.
Service Driven
The caller’s needs are our first priority. Our decisions are based solely on those needs.
We maintain and grow linkages with complementary agencies and/or community members.
Confidentiality and Anonymity
We respect and incorporate these principles as components of our service delivery, unless the caller waives them, or unless life and/or personal safety are at risk.