211 helpline slated for Saskatchewan
You've heard about 911, but what
The province-wide telephone service is coming to Saskatchewan. Three simple digits connect you to a live and professionally trained information specialist. The service functions 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Sheri Benson with the United Way of Saskatoon says 211 is a helpline for non-emergency issues.
"There is no place for people to go when they don't know where to turn, at the moment," said Benson.
Phonebook, directories and voicemails can be overwhelming for people. Benson said it could mean people don't follow through and get the help they need.
"Finally for some people it will be at more of an emergency level than maybe at a preventative one if they were able to find the service they needed, sooner."
The centralized database has information for a wide range of services including healthcare, bullying, immigration, shelters and food banks. On average, it takes a person seven phone calls before they get the service they are looking for, Benson said.
The United Way of Regina and United Way of Saskatoon are working together to launch the service, which is currently available in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. A service in Nova Scotia is about to launch. The 211 line provides service to 54 per cent of Canadians at the moment.
The first step is creating a database online, which Benson hopes will be active by June 2013. The phone system will follow the website.
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