There been a change in how Envision Counselling and Support Centre is helping those looking for support. They have decided to close their 24-hour Abuse/Sexual Assault Support Phone Line.
"We've been evaluating the effectiveness of the line for the past several years," shared Executive Director, Christa Daku. She went on to say that call volumes were steadily decreasing.
“There just wasn’t the same usage. We put the same amount of time and resources into the support line, but people aren’t using phones the same way they did in the past."
"Back in the day when the line started, it was because we didn't have the abundance of counselling support that we do now. So we were offering a lot of after-hours support through this volunteer line which was very, very helpful."
"But with the changes over the past several years with technology and the accessibility to online resources, we've noticed that a lot of people are accessing our website instead and contacting us through that."
"So it was really important for us to do an evaluation on whether it was effective for us as an organization."
She added that the decision was a hard one to make.
"This has been one of our longest standing programs. It's been in existence virtually since the beginning. It's been running for 23 years so you can imagine how many volunteers we've had come and go through that program.
"To run the service we have to have a staff coordinate all the volunteers which was a delight for her but it took time away from the office. The volunteers were the backbone of this program for so many years. It was a dedicated group of women who gave their time and talent while remaining respectful of the information that was shared on these calls.”
Daku added her gratitude to the many volunteers who staffed the phone line over the years as well as Estevan Answering Service.
"The 23 years that this line was in existence, the Estevan Answering Service has donated their time as a liaison between the caller and whoever was on call. I really want to recognize them for their dedication. We definitely couldn't have done it without them."
Those in need call 211 to reach someone on the phone or go online to the Envision website.