About Us - Our History
Distress Centre of Peel
In 1972, the drowning of a Mississauga mother and her two children were thought by police to have been a murder-suicide. In response to this tragedy, a group of concerned citizens founded Distress Line Mississauga in 1973, so that anyone else in pain or crisis would always have a place to turn. As fate would have it, Mary Fix, a lawyer, suffragette, entrepreneur and politician, died in 1972 and left her home, (built in 1939), to the City of Mississauga - where it was rented to the Distress Line for a dollar a year (and still is today). In 1979 Distress Line Mississauga changed its name to Distress Line Peel, and in 1994 changed its name to Distress Centre Peel in order to better reflect the services being provided to the public.
Telecare Brampton Inc.
The model for a crisis intervention telephone ministry originated in Sydney, Australia in1963. At that time, the Rev. Alan Walker of Sydney's Central Methodist Mission saw a need to reach isolated members of the public and founded the "LifeLine" program. They changed the LifeLine name to Telecare in 1970, and in 1975 Telecare Brampton was founded. Starting in 2005, and in order to respond to the needs of the increasingly diverse community of the Region of Peel, Telecare Brampton became anon-denominational service, and expanded to include support in 7 other languages in addition to English.
Spectra Community Support Services (Operating as Spectra Helpline)
In order to improve service to the Peel community, and after 39 and 37 years respectively, Distress Centre of Peel and Telecare Brampton legally merged creating Spectra Community Support Services (operating as Spectra Helpline), effective December 30, 2012,. We are very proud of our combined history of providing support to persons in distress and need. For the past 42 years, our distress lines have been there 24/7 for anyone experiencing isolation, stress, anxiety, abuse, depression, emotional pain, mental health issues, for those just simply dealing with the difficulties of life, and for those in crisis or considering suicide. On average, Spectra Helpline makes and receives over 100,000 calls each year: 1 call every 5 minutes. Approximately 345 carefully selected, intensively trained volunteers lend over 30,000 hours of support annually. And to date, Spectra has trained 5,282 volunteers who reside or work in the Region of Peel.