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Med. Hat Women’s Shelter Society launches text line and web chat support services, open to rural areas

Posted on June 10, 2022 by 40 Mile Commentator

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The Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society (MHWSS) has launched text and web chat services so that those experiencing family violence have more ways to connect with our support and services.

“We know that a phone call is simply not possible for many who are in abusive and unsafe situations,” said Natasha Carvalho, MHWSS Executive Director. “Having texting and web chat options are important steps towards improving the accessibility of our services in our community.”

Now daily between 7AM and 11PM, people can connect with MHWSS Crisis Intervention Staff by texting 587-850-5885 or visiting mhwss.ca to access the web chat. Outside of these hours, support is available through calling MHWSS’s 24/7 help line, at 403-529-1091 or toll free at 1-800-661-7949.

“In the months ahead, we will be evaluating the use of and demand for these new services,” said Carvalho. “From there, we’ll move forward with adapting them as needed to best serve our community.”

As with MHWSS’s 24/7 Help Line, those using the text line and/or web chat can be provided help and support, safety planning, information, referrals to other community supports, as well as arranging intake into shelter and other MHWSS programs.

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.

• Alongside serving the City of Medicine Hat, MHWSS serves surrounding regions Including Redcliff, Cypress County, County of 40 Mile, and Oyen.

• 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).

The Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society supports individuals impacted by family violence by providing them with safe shelter, education, advocacy and access to community resources. We are committed to social change by providing programs and services that promote treating all people with respect and dignity.

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