Distress Centres Annual Report - 2014


Distress Centres

2014 Annual Report

“A meaningful connection with a stranger: In a jammed

and fast-paced city with individuals focused on reaching

individual goals and using increasingly impersonal forms of

communication, indifferent to the 2000 (or more) people

whose paths and faces they cross daily – each one with

personal histories or struggles that will remain unknown,

DC provides an opportunity to truly get to know and reach

out to a stranger – a safe zone where the impacts of life,

society, relationships, employment, mental health can be

discussed freely without fear of judgment and repercussion.

The confidentiality and anonymity offered to both callers

and volunteers opens the doors to substantial conversations

and provides an opportunity for two strangers to connect in

a way that would almost seem unfeasible through any other

venue. While the calls may be short, they are meaningful,

deep and genuine.

They can have a profound impact on both the caller and the

volunteer, and one of the best things is – once you are done

with a call, you get to do it all over again. In one shift, you

can share in an emotional rollercoaster surrounding a wide

variety of human experiences, and have interacted with a

diverse and eclectic group of callers.”

( from engagement survey)

-Volunteer Distress Centres

Table of Contents










Letter from President

Letter from Executive Director

Distress Centres’ Strategic Plan

New Mission Announcement


A Year in Review (programs)

Fundraising Events

Summary Statement of Operations

Distress Centres’ Supporters

Letter from President

From time to time, organizations need to pause and ensure that the direction they are following is still fully

responsive to the changes that happen in the world around us. The changing expectations of the clientele

we serve, the significant impact of technology on the way we communicate and the increasingly challenging

financial context in which we operate make this exercise critical. Does our mission still resonate with our various

stakeholders and will our strategy allow us to position ourselves for continued relevance and success over the

long term? These are some of the fundamental questions that need to be jointly addressed by the Board of

Directors and the Management of any organization.

This starts with ensuring that we have the right mission statement. Defining a mission statement that fully reflects

the aspirations of the organization and the expectation of its stakeholders is no small undertaking. It has to reflect

the real focus of the organization while remaining broad enough to allow for our services to evolve. It has to carry

the emotional appeal of what we strive for in a concise statement that people relate to and easily remember.

Our new mission statement “We foster hope and resilience one connection at a time” is the result of a year-long

consultative and reflective process. Human connection is the core of hope and resiliency. Building hope and

resilience is the core of Distress Centres. This is the message that we wish to convey to all of our stakeholders.

While, in the short term, our new mission statement will not immediately affect the day-to-day services rendered

by the agency, it was a prerequisite for the upcoming review of our long-range strategic plan. The Board and

Management will now focus particular attention during 2015 on the changes and trends in our landscape and

the best strategies to pursue the long-term success of our mission.

Your Board of Directors has also devoted its attention to other areas where it can bring additional value. Securing

additional and recurring sources of financing remains a key priority in an environment that is increasingly difficult

for all. We will also continue to aim for best-in-class governance, as expected by our stakeholders. And we will

continue to support Management in its leadership role within the community and in particular the distress centres


In closing, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to: Karen Letofsky, our Executive Director, who continues

to be the heart and soul of Distress Centres and who has built this great organization which we are all so proud;

our management and professional team who are taking on increasing challenges with all the dedication for

which they are known; and, our team of volunteers, who are the core of Distress Centres – they are the ones that

are making a difference in the lives of so many people by making all these connections, one at a time. Special

appreciation, as well, to our generous donors, for their continued support and confidence.

I would be remiss if I did not underline the contribution of our board members, who agreed to volunteer a

considerable amount of their time simply because they believe so much in our cause. I would like to express my

appreciation to Pennie Santiago and Tom Wewoir who stepped down from the Board in 2014.

It is truly an honour and a privilege for me to be associated with this tremendous organization, as we foster hope

and resilience, one connection at a time.

Alain Thibault

President of the Board


Distress Centres Annual Report 2014

Letter from Executive Director

Leadership and partnership have been the defining principles embedded in our current set of strategic pillars. As

we assess the progress made to date in preparation for the next planning cycle, it is clear that 2014 was a year

of significant accomplishment for Distress Centres. Our agency continually demonstrated that as a leadership

organization, we understood the importance of leading from all directions: ahead, beside and behind. We

enhanced our footprint in the areas of suicide prevention, intervention, postvention and mental health support

through innovation, collaboration and community engagement.

This past year, Distress Centres, working with its national, provincial and local networks, was able to merge identified

gaps in service with evidence-based research, in order to work with community partners in the development of

possible new programming that can address these needs in the future. While we are still in early stages with these

initiatives, the process undertaken validates our agency’s commitment to joining with our colleagues in the sector

to ensure that, as we build support capacity, we avoid duplication in favour of a continuum of services. Our

about-to-be-launched Trillium-funded online program, in partnership with Community Torchlight, Spectra Services,

Distress Centres Durham and Distress Centres Ontario, is just one example of how we are working with others to

build a model of integrated helpline services that can be replicated with other delivery channels and for new

population-specific mental health programs. As part of creating this demonstration model, we are also engaged

in the process of identifying best practices, defining outcome measures and developing procedures to address

and mitigate any inherent risks.

And, this is only one of our many collaborations. In 2014, Distress Centres entered into two formal partnerships,

St. Elizabeth’s and the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities, in order to work together in the provision of

support to those experiencing mental health crises and traumatic-loss related grief. As well, we supported the work

of networks dedicated to newcomer emotional well-being, bereavement support, and community crisis response.

Our leadership role contributed to strengthening the emotional safety net through our pioneering dedicated line

partnerships (PARO Helpline, EMS Warm Transfer, and TTC Crisis Link) and the training and consultation provided by

our Community Outreach and Education Program.

We were delighted last year to once again be selected by Charity Intelligence Canada as a four-star charity,

one of a relatively small number chosen nationally to receive these top honours. Our inclusion in this group is a

reflection of a year where demand for service increased in all of our programs and we were able to meet them

with improved outcomes, a growing volunteer corps and enhanced community footprint. Not only has awareness

of our agency significantly spread during the past months, but we have been able to use this heightened profile to

effectively promote suicide and mental health awareness with activities such as International Suicide Prevention

Day and National Survivors of Suicide Day. We set a quality agenda and worked hard to achieve it.

It is clear that Distress Centres, in fulfilling its mission, is characterized by the people who define and staff it. We

are in the business of people, individuals connecting with individuals. The core of our agency is the staff who are

responsible for ensuring both its day-to-day functioning as well as providing the inspiration for its continuity. Special

gratitude is extended to them for their commitment, expertise and energetic leadership. We were also pleased

this year to welcome three new after-hours coordinators whose sharing of the workload has helped us maintain

quality support and supervision during the critical evening and weekend hours. The volunteers have expressed

their appreciation for the enhanced access to on-site staff. Their endorsement of this capacity building addition

is important since volunteer satisfaction and engagement are priority concerns for Distress Centres. We were

gratified that in our recent Volunteer Engagement Survey, there was such a high response rate (400) with the

majority providing positive feedback about their experiences with the agency. Thank you to our frontline service

providers who 24/7 demonstrate their emotional fortitude in being there for those in need. No natural or technical

disaster has managed to keep you from your post—there is no more tangible proof of your compassion and

support of others.

As we continue the organizational transformation of our agency to meet the needs of the future, we do so

knowing that we delivered in all of the strategic directions. Financial resource development is the one area of

focus that presents ongoing areas of concern in this highly complex and challenging fundraising environment.

Throughout the implementation of this plan, however, there is no doubt that we have benefitted greatly from the

financial assistance of our donors and our core funders, United Way and City of Toronto. Most importantly, our

success has been enabled and supported by the expertise and oversight of our talented and committed Board of

Directors. Thank you.

Karen Letofsky, C.M.

Executive Director

Distress Centres Annual Report 2014 3

Distress Centres Strategic Plan


Consolidating our position as the recognized

leader in the area of suicide prevention, crisis

management and postvention.


Strengthening our commitment to

volunteerism as the model of choice.


Broadening our reach through

technology and emerging

communication channels.


Assuming a leadership role in

the delivery of coordinated

distress centres services.


Securing our long-term

financial resources.


Anchoring our services in our

commitment to community and

our embrace of diversity.


Distress Centres Annual Report 2014

New Mission Announcement

Human connection is the core of hope and resiliency. Building hope

and resilience is the core of Distress Centres. After a significant process

of consultation with our supporters and communities, Distress Centres

is changing our mission statement to reflect this:

“We foster hope and resilience

one connection at a time.”

We all need to experience connection in order to feel empowered

and supported in our lives. We get to benefit from this through our

family, friends, and through services like Distress Centres.

The individuals who are supported by Distress Centres tend to

experience their frustration and thwarted needs in isolation, and are

often desperately in search of necessary human connection and an

emotional safety net. Our programs foster connections that have the

power to transform lives and create lasting social impact.

Distress Centres Annual Report 2014 5


During the last 48 years, we have trained more than 15,000 volunteers,

to provide “best in class” support to those most in need. We do this

by providing them with opportunities to hone their skills, attitude and

knowledge around mental health support. We strive to be leaders in

providing the best volunteer opportunities and experiences. We do

this by constantly reviewing our training programs through processes

like the 360 review that took place last year. This year we conducted

our first formal volunteer engagement survey which resulted in the

creation of a new Volunteer Engagement Committee, to ensure we

are meeting the ever-changing needs of our volunteers. More than 400

volunteers participated. With more than 230 new volunteers entering

our doors each year, we are committed to ensuring an environment

for volunteers where they are engaged and appreciated. The results

of this survey have ensured that we are now more informed about how

to meet the specific needs of our volunteers, whether that be in the

areas of training, or general engagement with Distress Centres.


Distress Centres Annual Report 2014

We were able to ask volunteers why Distress Centres was important to

them and here are some of their responses:

“Through our efforts, people are able to

connect to one another despite isolation,

mental health, social status, cultural diversity,

and differences.”


“It allows me to alleviate, even if for a brief

moment, the pain of someone in distress.

Being involved with Distress Centres has

taught me that I can contribute to the lives

of others by just being available and being a

good listener. I have learned a lot.”

“It allows those in their darkest

hour to be connected to

someone who is supportive and

willing to listen.”



“It is a safe place where you can

create meaningful connections

with others without any fear of



“It has changed my perspective on the world

and it has allowed me to make an impact on

someone’s life.”


“It connects at risk and individuals needing connection

to a safe and non-judgmental space to communicate.”


“We all need an ear now and again; this lets

me be that ear for another.”


Distress Centres Annual Report 2014 7

A year in review (programs):

408 Helpline

We responded to 82, 325 calls in 2014, in comparison to the 75,746 contacts made in 2013. 156,226 calls were

placed during the same time period. The increased volume of activity is a reflection of the higher profile

afforded to our agency in 2014 as a result of the public discourse on suicide and mental health. Distress

Centres occupied a leadership position in this discussion. It also demonstrates the positive outcomes of

our newly-created after-hours coordinator positions in support of monitoring call management practices

to increase capacity and providing relief coverage. Almost 89% of our calls were answered within the

Ministry of Health’s best practice crisis response guidelines of fifteen (15) minutes.

Community Outreach and Education Program

Our Staff were very active in United Way’s Speaker’s Bureau, delivering 2 dozen speeches during the 2014

campaign, for which our agency has been commended. In addition, we were invited to present on 42 additional

occasions, including DCO networking conferences, Bell Canada’s mental health initiatives, and

in response to requests from community agencies, such as Assaulted Women’s Helpline, Family Services,

Public Health, Victim Services, the Toronto Art Therapy Institute and others. As in previous years, most of

these were the result of previous contacts or referrals. Evaluations indicate high levels of satisfaction from

the perspective of relevance and knowledge transfer.

In 2014, agency staff also consulted approximately 20 times with other community organizations with

respect to volunteer management, suicide protocols, helpline development, crisis intervention and mental

health support. As well, our agency’s media profile expanded considerably through the 21 contacts that

were made by their various outlets.

Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO)

Specially selected Distress Centres volunteers are trained to support the unique emotional needs

experienced by medical residents, students, and their families. Our volunteers continue to provide around

the clock, 365 days a year access to support for a multitude of issues; including workplace harassment,

burnout, mental health concerns, as well as maintaining positive work/life balance.

12 volunteers, were newly trained in 2014, maintaining the overall size of the active responder corps at 25.

This is a sufficient number to support the current scheduling roster. A compulsory two-year refresher training

has recently been implemented.


Distress Centres Annual Report 2014

Who is calling?

Here are some highlights of who called in 2014


male identified



female identified

In 2014 we experienced an increase

in male identified callers.







34% 65%




31% widowed 2%

Marital Status


12% partnered 7%

Why are they calling?

Each caller may have many different reasons for connecting with us. The average number of concerns each caller

had in 2014 is 3. Here are some of those concerns


Substance Abuse/






100% 96% 12% 33%


Mental Health


There has been a large increase in interpersonal and mental health concerns with our callers in

comparison to the previous year.

Physical Health

How did we do?

At the end of each call we check in with our callers to see how they are feeling compared to the beginning of the

call. This is what they told us.

25% 40% 50% 8% 14%















in place

*92 percent of callers experienced a positive outcome in 2014

Crisis Link

After the launch of Crisis Link in 2011, we reached our 3rd year of service delivery in June 2014. By the end

of 2014, we responded to a total of 438 individuals in need of assistance, providing emotional support,

distress management and crisis intervention services to TTC passengers. Thanks to our dedicated Crisis

Link call responders, we were able to successfully provide assistance to the vast majority of callers, without

requiring TTC intervention. At the same time, the number of calls requiring 911 emergency response has

risen over time. We implemented a number of activities in 2014 in order to review and reconnect with our

program goals, including reviewing and updating our program protocols, working with TTC as members of

their Suicide Advisory Committee and continuing to receive feedback on each call involving TTC response.

We also promoted connection with our program partners by arranging tours of Transit Control Operations

Centre, enabling all Crisis Link call responders the opportunity to boost their awareness of TTC operations

and draw important connections between what happens in our phone rooms and what that looks like

from the TTC perspective, when we call Transit Control.

Caller Reassurance for Seniors

In 2014, we created a distinct volunteer roster solely dedicated to meeting the needs of the registered

Caller Reassurance participants. The higher demand for service of the program has almost doubled the

number of participants since 2013. Initially, our target was to double the number of seniors being assisted

by 2016. We achieved this a year sooner than expected.

The significant growth in this program is a testament to its developing a positive reputation in the community.

Initially, our referrals came from the Distress Centres’ 408 helpline callers. It then transitioned to requests

originating from brochures that were provided to appropriate senior service providers; and, now referrals

are coming from multiple sources including psychiatric staff, doctors and hospital staff arranging aftercare

resources to patients who can use more community supports upon discharge.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Warm Transfer Line

2014 experienced the highest volume of calls since the inception of the partnership program. This increase

in the number of contacts is a product of both more calls to EMS and their greater internal awareness of

the program. We have been noting this growth in the service since 2013, after several years of stagnant/

declining usage. Activity levels are determined by EMS’s patterns of initiating contact. Distress Centres

provides monthly statistics to EMS and the feedback from liaison staff continues to be very positive. We

have just completed the third year of the renewed five year contract.


Distress Centres Annual Report 2014

Survivor Support Program

The Survivor Support Program went through a year of growth and adjustment in 2014. As a specialized

grief/traumatic death program, we were able to offer more support than in previous years, in both one- on

-one and group contexts.

In response to our need to meet the increased demand in a timely manner, and our recognition of the

importance of being more flexible in our range of supports, we began offering drop-in support during the

summer. That new programming format was well-attended and received.

During 2014, we established new partnerships. A formal relationship between our program and the

Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities was finalized and space was offered for our first support

group in Scarborough.

Volunteers became more active than ever before in the delivery of services for the Survivor Support Program.

New leadership roles were created to encourage volunteers to take on complementary responsibilities.

Volunteers have been invited to participate in a greater variety of support roles as well as to mentor new


On-line Crisis Chat and Text Services

In 2014, Distress Centres formed a collaborative with Distress Centre Durham, Community Torchlight

Wellington, Spectra Services and Distress Centre Ontario to deliver an integrated online support service

in Ontario. Thanks to multi-year funding provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, we have been able

to build a model of service using this new delivery channel. Despite several pre-existing programs in

other parts of North America, we have created a community-based demonstration model that reflects

Canadian best practice standards and is consistent with the core service principles of the helpline partners.

We have been simultaneously customizing the software application and developing training, policies and

operational procedures. The testing phase is almost complete, with a soft launch slated for spring 2015,

and a full roll out after that. It is anticipated that new Ontario helpline partners will gradually be onboarded

once the program is operating at full capacity.

Distress Centres Annual Report 2014 11

Fundraising events

B.A.D. Ride 17

The 17th annual B.A.D. Ride continued to be one of the premier one-day riding events in Ontario. On May 25th

2014, approximately 1,000 motorcycles and 1,300 participants gathered in support of Distress Centres. These

Bikers Against Despair and their passengers once again traversed the three-hour scenic ride across the Ontario

countryside before arriving at the Markham Fair Grounds for the after-ride party. Thank you to our generous

sponsors; as their support allowed us to continue our pledge that 100% of the funds generated by participants

went directly into our programs, providing support to the community’s most vulnerable individuals.


Distress Centres Annual Report 2014

Concert by Twilight In-Home Recognition Event

For the past 19 years, we have invited guests to gather for an evening of fellowship

and refreshment in a special home arranged by our patrons; but, in 2014, the Concert

by Twilight took a different direction. The Concert by Twilight evolved into the In-Home

Recognition Event. We encouraged individuals to celebrate a relaxing evening in

their own home, while toasting and recognizing the work of Distress Centres.

Andrew Ferrone Memorial Golf Tournament

The Andrew Ferrone family has been a strong supporter of Distress Centres for

several years and has continued to support our agency through the Andrew Ferrone

Memorial Golf Tournament. Once again, the Ferrone Family generously donated the

funds from their 2014 annual event to Distress Centres. We are extremely grateful for

their commitment to our agency through this tribute event.

Natasha’s Fundraising Cocktail Gala

The First Annual Fundraising Cocktail Gala in honour of Survivor Support Program took

place on April 25th 2014. A big Distress Centres thank you to Natasha Denkovski and

her wonderful Event Ambassadors who helped promote the memorial event. Natasha

hosted more than 150 friends and family, who came together at the Arta Gallery in

the Distillery District to help raise money and increase awareness of our mission.

Distress Centres Annual Report 2014 13

Report of the Independent Auditor on

the Summary Statement of Operations


Report of the Independent Auditor on the Summary Statement of Operations


The accompanying summary statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2014 is

derived from the audited financial statements of Distress Centres for the year ended December

31, 2014. We expressed a qualified audit opinion on those financial statements in our report

dated March 23, 2015 (see below).

The summary statement of operations do not contain all the disclosures required by Canadian

accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations. Reading the summary financial

statements therefore, is not a substitute for reading the audited financial statements of the


Management’s Responsibility for the Summary Financial Statements

Management is responsible for the preparation of a summary of the audited financial

statements in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations.

Auditor’s Responsibility

Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the summary statement of operations based on

our procedures, which were conducted in accordance with Canadian Auditing Standard

(CAS) 810, “Engagements to Report on Summary Financial Statements”. However, the summary

financial statements may be misstated to the equivalent extent as the audited financial

statements of the Centres for the year ended December 31, 2014.


In our opinion, the summary statement of operations derived from the audited financial

statements of Distress Centres for the year ended December 31, 2014 is a fair summary of those

financial statements, in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit


In our report dated March 23, 2015 on the audited financial statements, we expressed a

qualified opinion. Our qualified audit opinion is based on the fact that in common with many

similar organizations, the Centres derives revenues from fund-raising events and donations, the

completeness of which is not susceptible to satisfactory audit verification. Accordingly, our

verification of these revenues was limited to the amounts recorded in the records of the Centres

and we are not able to determine whether any adjustments might be necessary to revenues,

deficiency of revenues over expenses, assets and net assets. Our qualified opinion states that

except for the possible effects of described matter, if any, those financial statements present

fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Centres as at December 31, 2014,

and its financial performance and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with

Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations.

Toronto, Ontario

March 23, 2014


Licensed Public Accounts


Distress Centres Annual Report 2014

Summary Statement of Operations



United Way of Greater Toronto

Grants - City of Toronto

TTC Crisis Link

Corporations, foundations and church groups

Donations - individuals

Fund-raising events (net of expenses)

Emergency Medical Services

Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO) grant

Amortization of deferred capital grants

Interest and miscellaneous


$ 299,326












$ 292,917












Salaries and employee benefits

Building occupancy

Office - telephone, supplies, postage, etc.

Volunteer recruitment, training and resources

Accounting and audit



















Deficiency of revenues over expenses for the year

$ (49,181)

$ 27,634

Distress Centres Annual Report 2014 15

Our Supporters


1784905 Ontario Limited

Barrie Honda

Canadian Biker

CIBC Mellon Global Securities Services

Contour Machine Ltd.

Danier Leather Inc.

Diversified Insurance Company

Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.

Flextilt Ltd.

Gateway Mechanical Services Inc.

Glenerin Inn

H.I.Y.C Inc.

Honda Canada Inc.

Hydro One Inc.

Intact Foundation

J Abraham Inc.

JTI-Macdonald Corp.

Kilgour’s Bar Meets Grill

Lexus of Oakville

Metro Florist Inc.

Ontario Power Generation

Pape Finch Dental

RBC Royal Bank

River Edge Dental

Saturnino Production Services Inc.

Silverberg, Perel & Sheldon LLP

Toronto Transit Commission

Unilock Ltd.

Viking Engineering

Village Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ltd.

White Store Equipment Ltd.

B.A.D. Ride Team

Monty Ackerman

Bernie Atlas

Herb Belman

Simon Fogel

Jeff Greenberg

Keely Jacox

Stan Letofsky

Paul Marsala

Gloria Morris

Steve Nusbaum

Lori Nusbaum

Michael O’Niell

Murray Parr

Sam Rattner

Sid Rochwerg

Kevin Rosenthall


B & B Hamilton Foundation at the Toronto Foundation

E. W. Bickle Foundation

Echo Foundation

F.K. Morrow Foundation

Foundation Alex U. Soyka

Golvin Charitable Foundation

Greygates Foundation

Jackman Foundation

Pace Family Foundation

St. Andrew’s Charitable Foundation

The Craig Steward Esplen Family Foundation

The Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation

The Henry White Kinnear Foundation

The John Dax Charlton Foundation

The Morris Justein Family Charitable Foundation

The Murphy Foundation Incorporated

The Robert Campeau Family Foundation

The Sharp Foundation

Toskan Casale Foundation


Asbury and West United Church

Humber Valley United Church

Rosedale United Church


Cindy Blakely

The Reverend Graham Cotter

The Honourable Consigilo Di Nino

The Right Reverent Terence Finaly

Guy P. French

Jane Hill

Gordon C. Gray

Dr. Hung-Tat Lo

Arthur A. Scace

Richard M. Thomson

George A. Wilson

The Reverend Gordon Winch

B.A.D. Ride Sponsors


Beard Winter LLP

Bentall Retail Services

Dave And Buster’s

Davies Harley-Davidson

Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.

Hero Certified Burgers



Jacox Harley-Davidson

Lake Simcoe Arms


Mackie Harley-Davidson

Markham Fair


Motorcycle Mojo Magazine

Motorcycle Supershow


Orbixa Management Services

Palmer Audio Inc.

Petite Thuet

Q107 Classic Rock

Ready Honda

Ready Powersports

Riders Plus Insurance


Stitchy Lizard Embroidery & Promotional Items

Terraplan Landscape Architects

The Motorcycle Show Toronto

The Roaming Coyotes

Vita Sociale

Yamaha Motor Canada Ltd.


Distress Centres Annual Report 2014

Distress Centres Staff

Distress Centre Central

Karen Letofsky, Executive Director

Carrie-Ann Goodfellow, Resource Development Manager

Lindsay Sweeney, Resource Development Manager

Rhonda Sorgen, Resource Development Administrative Assistant

Beth Rosell, Manager of Administration

Stephanie Banks, Event and Resource Development Coordinator

Hilla Gutman, Centre Manager, EMS and PARO Coordinator

Kurtiss Trowbridge, Volunteer Coordinator

Alex Shendelman, Program Coordinator Survivor Support Program

Emily Ward, After-Hours Volunteer Coordinator

Distress Centre North

Melissa Bosman, Centre Manager, Crisis Link Coordinator

Lori O’Neill, Volunteer Coordinator

Jaclyn Sturm, After-Hours Volunteer Coordinator

Distress Centre Scarborough

Kim Watson, Centre Manager, Caller Reassurance Program Coordinator

Marietta Bastianpillai, Volunteer Coordinator

Canny Wu, After-Hours Volunteer Coordinator

Distress Centres Board of Directors 2014

Alain Thibault, President

Lisa Swartzman, Treasurer

Thomas Appleyard

Lindsay Hill

Alana Hunt

Melissa LaFlair

Noorez Lalani

Pennie Santiago

Helga Schnider

Thomas Wewior


To ensure that every individual in need receives life-sustaining emotional support.


We foster hope and resilience one connection at a time.

We Say

There’s a life on the line.

For more information, contact us

Distress Centres

10 Trinity Square

Toronto, Ontario M5G 1B1

Tel. (416) 598-0166

Fax. (416) 598-2316



Charitable Registration Number: BN 10702 1016 RR0001

Design by Natasha Bailey,

NATIONAL Public Relations

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