Envision Counselling & Support Centre recently published a calendar and Year In Review with a number of businesses and organizations, sharing their reflections on changes for the organization in 2018.

One of the main changes Envision made this year took place in June when they closed down their 24-hour Abuse and Sexual Assault Support phone line after 23 years.

Executive Director Christa Daku said the demand has shifted to electronic means, as callers simply prefer to use email.

“Over the years, as we’ve grown with technology, people have reached out through our website, so it’s moved more in-house. Our counselors are answering web submissions on a daily basis,” she explained.

She said it was for this reason they explored options around texting programs as an alternative to the phone line, as for some it’s easier to text and it’s easier to email. But Daku said the cost attached to that wasn’t sustainable.

At its peak, the line had up to 50 calls per month. By the time it closed, they were averaging far less.

“We were averaging, the last couple of years, about 60 a year, which, over the course of 365 days, 24 hours a day, is not many calls,” she said.

Daku said it was often a challenge to sustain volunteers.

“We always had great volunteers, but to give them a sense of making a difference, it’s very difficult when you have low numbers like that,” she noted.

Without a crisis line, however, web submissions would fall short of being able to assist in urgent situations requiring the old-fashioned method: a telephone call with trained counselors on the other end of the line.

While the abuse/assault line had initially been funded through the United Way, it seems only fitting that the answer to the would-be unmet demands for a phone number to call in times of crises would be a United Way-funded provincial initiative.

With 2-1-1 Saskatchewan going live in March, it couldn't have come at a better time for the province.

“It’s a very positive change for the province,” said Daku. “It just happens that it worked out the same time, it was completely unplanned.”

She said that over the years, as call numbers began to drop, they had been trying to come up with a plan for moving forward with the crisis line.

“So it was important for us to obviously have something for people to turn to, and it just so happened that United Way funded 2-1-1, so it was perfect as far as we were concerned,” she expressed.

The 2-1-1 line provides resources to help prevent challenging life situations from becoming crises. Its mission is ‘to strengthen communities by effectively connecting people with appropriate information and services.’ It has been the designated telephone number for community information services across Canada since 2001.

Read more about the line closure HERE.

Read more about 2-1-1 HERE and HERE.

2-1-1 Saskatchewan is a free, confidential, 24/7 service that connects individuals to human services in the province by telephone, text, or web chat, plus a searchable website with over 5,000 listings of social, community, non-clinical health, and government services across the province.

In addition to searching on the 211 Saskatchewan website, individuals can now call 2-1-1, text 2-1-1 or go online to chat with trained professionals to help find and navigate the services they need. This access to community, health and government services is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Over 100 languages, including 17 Indigenous languages, are available over the phone.

More Local News

Feeling Blue? SAD Impacts People in Different Ways

The third Monday in January, better known as Blue Monday, is said to be one of the saddest and most depressing days of the year. There are many factors that make January depressing, including paying…

Police Variety Show Returns

The Estevan Police Association is holding their Police Variety Show on January 31 at the Estevan Comprehensive School at 6:30 pm. The show will feature performances by Marty Putz, Richy Roy, and…

Equipment At Arena Suspected Source of Carbon Monoxide

More information is coming out about the carbon monoxide poisoning incident in Montmartre Saturday. SaskEnergy suspects the source of the carbon monoxide, which sent upwards of fifteen players aged…

Snow Covered Licence Plate Could Result in Fine

With the recent dusting of snow we've received in the Friendly City, it's usual for drivers to clean off their windshield and lights before hitting the road. However, make sure not to forget to wipe…

Princesses And Superheroes Came Together To Fight for A Cure

There were many superheroes and princesses at the Super Magical Princess and Superhero Ball Saturday afternoon and everyone had a great time. "It's very good, everyone showed up and their having a…

EPS Kept Impaired Driver Off The Road

Early into Saturday evening, the Estevan Police Service were called to a two-vehicle collision on King Street and Souris Avenue. A westbound vehicle attempted to make a left turn from King Street and…

Accident On Friday Night

An accident on Friday evening kept Emergency crews busy. "At approximately 11 pm on January 18th, Estevan Police and Estevan Fire were called to the scene of a single vehicle collision," explains…

New Look for Canadian Dollar in 2019: Will Honour Gay Rights

Joe Wickenhauser is the Executive Director of Moose Jaw PRIDE and the Saskatchewan PRIDE Network. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. To commemorate…

SaskPower Pleased With Performance Of CCS at Boundary Dam Power Station

SaskPower’s carbon capture and storage facility at the Boundary Dam Power Station had a great year in 2018, according to their vice president of power production, Howard Matthews. The facility…

Millions for Crop Research in Saskatchewan

On Wednesday, the federal Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced more than $12 million in funding for forty-four crop-related research…

DiscoverEstevan.com is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide