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MHWSS Text Line & Web Chat support now available 24/7
November 1st, 2022 – The Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society is expanding its text and web chat services to be available 24/7 with the start of Family Violence Prevention Month this November.
“This is an exciting step forward in making our services and supports more accessible for those experiencing family violence in
our community,” said Natasha Carvalho, MHWSS executive director. “We know a phone call isn’t always safe or possible – but texting or connecting through web chat might be. It’s all about reducing barriers.”
Since launching the text line and web chat with daytime hours in June, people have been connecting on a daily basis with MHWSS through these services.
“We’ve seen a positive impact, including people saying they feel more comfortable reaching out to us this way when they may not have otherwise,” said Carvalho. “Our hope is that by expanding the text line and web chat hours to 24/7 availability, even more people will reach out.”
Now as of November 1st, people can text 587-850-5885 or visit mhwss.ca to connect with a frontline crisis intervention worker at any time, day or night. This is alongside MHWSS’s longstanding 24/7 help line which is available by phoning 403-529-1091 or toll free at 1-800-661-7949.
The expansion of text line and web chat services comes with the start of Family Violence Prevention Month. There are a number of community events taking place throughout Medicine hat to mark the month. For a full list, visit: www.mhwss.ca/2022fvpm/
Statistics & Background Information:
- MHWSS provided programming and support services to 1,121 adults and 343 children during the 2021-22 year, and received 1,537 crisis calls.
- 5,602 women, children and seniors were admitted to emergency shelters across the province in the 2020-21 year, while shelters received 52,300 calls from people seeking support. (Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters 2021 Data Release)
- Police-reported family violence has increased for the fifth consecutive year in Canada, according to the most recent data released by Statistics Canada.