Calgary's never-ending winter spurs jump in crisis line calls

Calgarians are definitely feeling the winter blues this year as calls to the city's crisis line is up.

1 of the coldest winters in 30 years, meteorologists say

A brutally-cold winter in Calgary has the city's crisis phone lines noticing an increase in demand for their services. (Mike Groll/Associated Press)

Calgarians are definitely feeling the winter blues this year as calls to the city's crisis line is up.

The Distress Centre says it has seen call volumes increase by about 10 per cent compared to the same time last year.

"You can't get out to do the things everybody was hoping to be able to get out and do by this time in the year," said Paul Bartel with the Distress Centre. 

While Bartel cautions the increase in calls can't all be linked directly to the weather, he says there are connections.

He says a lack of sunlight impacts people's vitamin D levels, which are tied to mood and emotion.

A lack of fresh air and exercise can also play a role in leaving people feeling depressed, he says, and spending time alone indoors because of the cold can make some people feel lonely and isolated.

This winter has been one of the coldest in 30 years for Canadians across the country, according to meteorologists.

One travel agency has reported a 20 per cent jump this winter in the number of bookings to sun destinations such as Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Hawaii.

How are you keeping positive during this brutal winter? Send your tips for beating the winter blues by tweeting us @CBCCalgary or emailing us at


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