August 15, 2012

In Crisis? Help is a Phone Call Away

What many people don’t know is that help, support and a compassionate ear is a phone call away.  I know because a call to a 24 hour crisis line saved my life 8 years ago.

“It is Friday October 22, 2004 and I know I cannot keep going; it has to end.  The darkness is unbearable, the sadness and desperation all encompassing.  This is my first real thought of suicide and I am filled with relief that I can choose to end this, though I am consumed with fear.  I begin to put a plan in motion: I make my way slowly to the pantry and I grab every pill bottle I can hold.  I retreat to the safety of my bedroom and, crying hysterically, I begin to open all the bottles.

“No you can’t do this… what about the girls?  What about Neil?  If you do this it will destroy them.  Well, I’m already doing a good job of that right now.  Wouldn’t they be better off without me?”  I argue with myself, the inner turmoil unendurable.

For a brief moment my thoughts are rational.  What am I doing?  I can’t do this!  In a frenzy of anger, resentment and hatred toward myself, I gather up all the bottles, return them to the pantry and find the Yellow Pages.  I stumble back to my bedroom, collapse on the bed and, weak and exhausted, without any hope I open the phone book to the front page and call the 24-hour Crisis Line 403.266.HELP (4357) provided by Distress Centre.  As a woman answers, I feel an uneasy knot in my stomach, but soon her calm, soothing voice reassures me.  She is caring, helpful, listening attentively, not judging me, all the while asking questions gently.  For the first time, I feel that someone really understands and cares.”
An Excerpt from A Quiet Strong Voice.


Today’s Worthy Wednesday Shout Out goes to the organization that not only saved my life, it has been saving lives in Calgary and surrounding areas for over 40 years.  Distress Centre is a charitable organization that truly cares, that lives and breathes their mission and has an amazing, passionate and committed team of staff, board and volunteers.

Working closely with the Distress Centre team over the past couple of years has truly been a gift.  If you go look at their website you will see in the NEWS section how much they have shown gratitude, caring and love for the many initiatives I have lovingly created to bring awareness and funds to this incredible organization.

On September 13th, Distress Centre is having their annual Breakfast fundraiser.  A wonderful opportunity to connect, and learn about this valuable resource that many are unaware of.

“Listening is fundamentally what we do at Distress Centre. 24 hours a day, we are there to listen and be there for people in crisis.” yes they do.

If you can’t attend, I ask you to share this, consider donating or even just ensuring that 403.266.HELP (4357) is in a visible place in your home.

Distress Centre offers so much more than a 24 hour crisis line, they are there for any degree of distress.

Distress Centre is a non-profit social agency that delivers 24-hour support, counselling and resource referral services to Calgary and the surrounding area. Our agency is built around the belief that anyone can experience crisis. It’s not up to us to define what the crisis is—it’s different for everyone. We don’t judge. We’re here to listen and connect you with the help you need.

Everyone has a right to help when they need it. To ensure support is accessible and available, we offer services 24 hours a day, free of charge. Our programs act as a gateway to professional help, peer support or a network of social agencies. Whatever the problem may be, a call to Distress Centre is often a first step towards a solution.


If you are not in Calgary, you can also access global 24 hour crisis lines by visiting


As you can see – Distress Centre is being the change they wish to see.  Thank YOU Distress Centre for saving my life and many others.


Worthy Wednesday is about celebrating that you are worthy, we are all worthy, and that you are enough.
Every Wednesday Lee gives a SimpLee Serene Shout Out to an individual or organization being the change they wish to see in the world.




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