Distress Centre to add text message support in new year

The Downtown Mission's Distress Centre Program offers support for Windsorites feeling social isolation or grieving the loss of a loved one over the holiday season.

'Unfortunately, there are many people out there who don't look at this time as a time of joy and festivity'

Rukshini Ponniah-Goulin (l) and Emily Schurter with The Distress Centre of the Downtown Mission say they offer crisis counselling to 250-300 people per month. (Aadel Haleem/CBC)

The Distress Centre of Windsor-Essex County will add texting services in the new year for those who need emotional support.

Introducing the service will help reach younger people who might be more inclined to reach out through texts.

The centre's volunteer trainer, Emily Schurter, predicts the service will be popular among young people.

"Often times things we don't say to people face to face, a lot of people feel more comfortable in describing through text," she said.

The centre receives up to 300 calls a month, according to Rukshini Ponniah-Goulin, director of operations at the Distress Centre, which operates out of the Downtown Mission.

She says texting will allow people to be more candid.

"I also feel that it may add a level of privacy. A lot of times people might be unable to make a phone call because of who might hear them, being at home with family," she said.