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The purpose of Crisis Services of Waterloo Region is to:

  • provide crisis and risk assessments
  • ensure access to a range of resources and support options
  • facilitate necessary connections to treatment services
  • develop community based intervention plans with the individual and crisis and their natural support network
  • develop connections within the available community services (community providers, Community Health Centres, Ontario Works, ODSP etc.)

Mobile Crisis Services (available in Waterloo Region)

  Distress Centre: 

The Distress Centre provides confidential listening and support, crisis response and intervention for anyone in Waterloo Region.  The Distress Centre telephone lines operate 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and are answered by trained volunteers as well as staff who offer non-judgmental listening, empathy and confidentiality.  Focus is placed on callers finding their own initiatives and having the capability to solve their own difficulties.

The Distress Centre operates a general line offering supportive and confidential listening (519 745-1166), a Youth Line (519 745-9909), the EARS Line (519 570-3277) dedicated to male victims of sexual assault, and the Mental Health and Addictions Data Base Line (519 744-5594) - providing access to a database that lists resources, individuals and organizations that are involved in serving people with mental health concerns.

Informal Crisis Support Service  - ICSS (available in Dufferin County)

This service, operating in Dufferin County (Orangeville), provides individualized support to people with significant mental health issues and their families.   This service provides support which compliments the emergency treatment services within the crisis system.  Depending on the number of requests and volunteer availability, this service can be provided up to 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.  ICSS assists people to enhance their capacity to respond to and resolve or prevent crisis by providing staff and volunteer supports at an intensity and frequency that meets the person's needs.

Referrals to ICSS can be made Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Centre for Mental Health in Orangeville between the hours of 1 pm and 5 pm.  Once the referral is completed and a plan established, staff and volunteers are available as needed to provide support whether face-to-face or over the telephone.  The roles of volunteers generally fall into evening and weekend hours,  however, roles and availability are individualized to meet the needs and desires of each person. 

The length of service varies among people supported from one or a few contacts to repeated contacts over a period of months and/or years.  Service agreements are created with each person when determining the length of involvement and are reviewed every 6 months.

Volunteers provide one-to-one support to assist the person to link to community services and resources, provide transportation to planned appointments, accompany the person to community settings (e.g. churches, volunteer settings, food banks), and assist with planned activities as directed by the Centre Administrator.    Click here for Volunteer Application


The Crisis Line (519 744-1813 or toll free 1-866-366-4566) links callers with the Mobile Crisis Team.  This Team operates 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year throughout Waterloo Region offering prevention, assessment, intervention and resolution for urgent mental health and psychosocial crisis situations.  Team members provide persons in crisis with access to a range of support options and linkages. Staff work from a least intrusive to most intrusive approach when connecting a person with support options, with a focus on stabilizing crisis situations as quickly as possible and assisting the person to regain control over the situation within the person's own environment.

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