MIL-OSI Canada: Distress Line Equity Fund Announcement 

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Source: Government of Canada News


March 1, 2024

Crisis and distress line services aim to reduce an individual’s crisis state, emotional distress, and risk of suicide. They may also provide access to other suicide prevention and mental health resources, tools, and services.

The Government of Canada is dedicated to ensuring everyone in Canada has access to mental health services and supports. To help support this goal, the Government is providing $8 million in funding through the Distress Line Equity Fund to address gaps in equity, diversity and inclusion within Canada’s crisis and distress line sector. For the first round of proposals, $3,558,902 in funding is being provided to 19 organizations. The maximum funding available per project is $250,000 for a maximum duration of twelve months.

This Government of Canada program will help organizations providing crisis and distress line services to respond to the needs of everyone who calls or texts, including populations with higher rates of suicide, such as Indigenous peoples, members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, newcomers, veterans, older adults, and those living in rural and remote communities.

Project Overviews

British Colombia

Sahas Community Services Society

  • Sahas Community Services Society will receive $150,000 in funding to provide immediate, safe, accessible, free, confidential, multilingual, and non-judgemental space for callers experiencing distress, crisis and stress.

Nisa Foundation

  • Nisa Foundation will receive $200,000 in funding to expand and improve helpline service to Muslim and racialized women residing in Quebec.

Options Community Services Society

  • Options Community Services Society will receive $250,000 in funding to hire additional responders to ensure individuals in crisis who need immediate, culturally safe support will have someone to talk to, 24/7.


Distress Centre Calgary

  • Distress Centre Calgary will receive $245,460 in funding to develop and implement cultural competency training for responders and to recruit staff from diverse backgrounds.


Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Service Inc.


Sara Riel Inc.

  • Sara Riel Inc. will receive $239,222 in funding to reach vulnerable groups such as 2SLGBTQIA+, Indigenous and newcomer populations.

Klinic Inc.

  • Klinic Inc. will receive $240,000 in funding to create a content-specific training module to address populations that are at a greater risk of suicidality, including Indigenous peoples and those from the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.


Distress Centres of Greater Toronto

Kids Help Phone

  • Kids Help Phone will receive $249,706 in funding to address the high demand for texting service from Indigenous service users.

Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington

The Social Service Bureau of Sarnia Lambton Inc.

Distress Centre Halton

  • Distress Centre Halton will receive $149,987 in funding to provide inclusive and equitable mental health support to the diverse population of Halton, with a priority on men, boys and 2SLGBTQIA+.

Compass Community Services

  • Compass Community Services will receive $78,230 in funding to meet the diverse needs of the population they serve, including 2SLGTBQIA+, racialized and Indigenous persons and older adults.

ConnexOntario Health Services Information

  • ConnexOntario Health Services Information will receive $200,000 in funding to provide their staff with ethnocultural education and increase their human resources in order to better serve diverse populations.

Gerstein Crisis Centre

  • Gerstein Crisis Centre will receive $99,447 in funding to strengthen their capacity to serve diverse populations by providing Anti-Black Racism and Anti-Indigenous Racism training to all employees.


Centre de prévention du suicide région 02 Inc.

Centre Interligne Inc.

  • Centre Interligne Inc. will receive $249,938 in funding to continue improving their ability to meet the needs of all 2SLGBTQIA+ people in Quebec and across Canada.

Tel-Aide Outaouais

  • Tel-Aide Outaouais will receive $188,196 in funding to increase their capacity to serve diverse populations in French, including launching a line for francophone communities in the territories and western provinces.

New Brunswick

John Howard Society of Fredericton Inc.

  • John Howard Society of Fredericton Inc. will receive $127,000 in funding to evaluate and revise their organization’s policies and procedures to ensure that they are culturally safe and address and mitigate biases and inequities in their services.

MIL OSI Canada News