About Us

Telecare Distress Line of Greater Simcoe is a not-for-profit, charitable organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. We have one part time paid staff who supports 25-40 volunteers and students.

We are accredited by Telecare Distress Centres of Canada Inc., and affiliated with Lifeline International as well as the International Federation of Telephone Emergency Services (IFOTES). Telecare is governed by  policies set down by international and national organizations.

Our purpose is to provide the community with access to well trained volunteers 24 hours a day, who will listen in an empathetic and caring manner honouring the principals of anonymity and confidentiality. We believe that every person has a right to be heard without judgment and that by truly listening we can help alleviate distress and loneliness.

We are one of 4 Telecare Distress Lines in operation in Canada, waiting to take calls from people in need of someone to listen. Telecare of Greater Simcoe (previously known as Telecare Orillia) has been operating since 1979.


Lifeline (and indirectly Telecare) was the vision of Rev. Alan Walker, a minister in Sydney, Australia. His vision was to create a crisis service to support people in distress and prevent suicide. Rev. Walker was feeling overwhelmed at the number of calls he was receiving from struggling people. He envisioned a teleministry manned by trained volunteers to help support the community 24/7.

The catalyst for launching the service was the death of a man named Roy, whom Rev. Walker had provided crisis support to over the phone and in-person. Rev. Walker wondered if Roy had the opportunity to access on-going support from caring people any time he needed, if his story have had a different ending.

We are here to write that different ending.

Telecare began in 1963 in Australia, and came to Canada first in Sudbury in 1965. In January of 1979 our location, then Telecare Orillia, received its first call for support. Telecare has its roots both historically and theologically within the faith community, however we are not currently affiliated with any particular denomination or group. We aim to be inclusive and non-judgmental in all of our services, and we have a diverse volunteer team representing many different identities and affiliations.


Our vision is that every caller in our service area has free and anonymous access to a caring, non-judgmental, confidential listener 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and feels valued and emotionally supported.


Our mission as compassionate, non-judgmental, trained volunteers is to provide active listening, emotional support, and information and referrals to the troubled, lonely, and those in crisis.