Sarnia-Lambton’s first-ever child and youth crisis line launched

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / diego_cervo

Sarnia’s first-ever child and youth crisis line is now taking calls.

The Family Counselling Centre and St. Clair Child and Youth Services have teamed up to offer the service seven days a week.

Family Counselling Centre Executive Director Hani Dajani said the need for a crisis line in the city is extremely high.

“This is a dedicated line for children and youth who experience distress, or any kind of isolation, or would like to speak or vent about anything and everything,” said Dajani.

He said the one-year pilot project is possible thanks to funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

“The beauty is that it is localized and we have our trained volunteers coming from within Lambton County, so they’re more familiar with the environment that’s around us and better suited to serve our kids.”

Parents concerned about their children are still invited to call the adult line.

“We’ve ran, with funding from the United Way, a distress line for older adults, that is run 24/7 for individuals in Lambton County who are experiencing distress,” said Dajani. “We’ve seen a huge spike in the numbers if you compare year-on-year data.”

He said 1,700 calls were received in 2019, while there were 2,600 in 2020.

The child and youth crisis line can be accessed toll-free by calling 1-833-622-1320 from 7 a.m. to midnight.

The adult line is available 24/7 at 1-888-DISTRES or 1-888-347-8737

A check in service, which provides a daily telephone call to seniors and individuals with disabilities, is also available. Tel-check offers social connection, emotional support and helps ensure safety. To make a referral, call 519-336-3000.