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Who calls us?

Anyone who is going through a difficult situation and is in need of caring, and listening support. Callers are from all walks of life and diverse in every sense of the word (i.e. age, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, etc.). Most people who contact us are not suicidal.

Spectra Helpline is committed to maintaining an emotionally safe environment for helpline callers as well as call responders. Our role is to assist callers to deescalate their emotional intensity and meet immediate emotional needs. Abusive behaviours that interfere with our ability to provide support will not be condoned.

Thinking of Reaching Out to Spectra Helpline?
Reaching Out Helps

We all face a variety challenges and difficulties in life and are trying to find the best ways to cope with these challenges. Reaching out to others for support during times of stress and difficulty, when we are trying to figure out what we want, how to cope, and how best to move forward, is a useful way to help ourselves to cope with difficulties and overcome challenges.

No matter how difficult our challenges or how upset we are, there are strengths and resources available that we can build on. For most people, a brief helping conversation is a very useful step in the right direction.

Our responders have received training in how to identify caller strengths and resources and how to help callers begin to take steps towards goals and solutions. When you reach out to us, responders will listen to your concerns and issues and ask questions to help you clarify and prioritize what you want help with - and also develop a clearer idea of where to start and what might be some helpful next steps. Most importantly, our responders will help you to identify and activate the strengths and resources that will help you to move forward.

A brief helping conversation of about twenty minutes can often be useful in getting on track toward the goals and solutions that will help you better face life’s challenges. People often find it useful to think of a question that they would like help with prior to reaching out – this helps to make our time together even more helpful for you.

What happens when you reach out to SPECTRA HELPLINE?

  1. Responders listen to your concerns, issues, and questions – and also ask questions about what you want to achieve.
  2. Responders will ask questions to help you clarify what you want and prioritize your issues so you have a clearer idea of where and how to start.
  3. Responders will help you identify the strengths and resources you can use to help build a solution to your challenges.

For most people in most situations, a good start can usually be made in about twenty minutes. We encourage you to reach out to us when you need support and want to make progress in facing life’s difficulties, finding good ways to cope, and overcoming challenges.


What do callers receive?

Our trained volunteers are able to listen to you any time day or night. We can help you talk through whatever is troubling you, find the answers that are right for you, and offer support.

Our callers get:

  • An accessible FREE telephone line service that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Confidentiality
  • Trained responders
  • A non-judgmental listener
  • Kind and empathetic support
  • Someone who cares
  • Referrals to community resources

When you call Spectra Helpline, you can expect your call to be treated with the strictest confidentiality. You will be invited to share whatever is upsetting you, at your own pace, and in your own words. You will connect with a kind, caring and empathetic listener. We understand when others can't.


How quickly will my call be answered?

All calls to Spectra’s Helpline will be placed into a queue system to be answered by the next available responder. When your call is answered, you will speak with a volunteer responder who can provide you with emotional support in response to your crisis or issue.

Spectra Helpline is committed to responding to calls as soon as possible. The Ministry of Health has established “within fifteen (15) minutes” as a guideline for crisis call response. Spectra Helpline has made it our priority to have all crisis/suicide calls answered within 15 minutes.

Sometimes on our general helpline, regretfully, the number of calls placed exceeds our capacity to answer immediately or within a short time frame. As one of the few after-hours community resources, this does occasionally occur. We apologize for the delay. We will answer your call as soon as possible. In the interim, if this is an emergency, please go to the nearest hospital or contact 911.

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