February 11th is 211 Day across North America.
211 is a free, confidential, 24/7 service that connects individuals to trained professionals to help find and navigate services they need in the province by telephone, text, or webchat.
Kristin Nelson is the director of 211 Saskatchewan and said that they want to remind people that they are there for them this year.
“It’s not a secret that people have faced a lot of challenges throughout the pandemic, and we have certainly seen that through 211 usages,” she said. ‘We really want to focus on raising awareness and making sure people know this service is available to them. It’s always free, it’s always confidential, and it’s available across Saskatchewan to anyone who might need some support in finding these services to meet their needs.”
In 2021, 211 Saskatchewan saw a 110 per cent increase in calls, texts, and web chats over 2020.
“We really started to see an uptick in both the contacts through our service navigators, which are the contacts that are coming in through phone calls, texts, and webchats, as well as people who are independently searching online,” she said. “We really started to see that uptick at the very outset of the pandemic; people were faced with situations they’d never been faced with before. There are a lot of people who are finding themselves in need of support, potentially for the first time in their lives in those more formal settings.”
Between 2020 and 2021, calls for COVID-19 support increased by over 140 per cent.