By Medicine Hat News on June 2, 2022.
Access to crisis support services is expanding for southeastern Albertans experiencing family violence, with the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society’s new text and web chat support options.
Launched Wednesday, the services allow individuals experiencing family violence to speak with MHWSS crisis intervention staff, who can then provide support, offer resources, facilitate shelter intake and/or make referrals to other community services. All information shared between staff and those accessing the services is confidential.
“We know a phone call is simply not possible for many who are in abusive and unsafe situations,” MHWSS executive director Natasha Carvalho said in a Wednesday statement. “Having texting and web chat options are important steps towards improving the accessibility of our services in our community.
“In the months ahead, we will be evaluating the use of and demand for these new services. From there, we’ll move forward with adapting them as needed to best serve the community.”
MHWSS’s text line and web chat are available daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The services are open to, not only residents of Medicine Hat, but residents throughout much of southeast Alberta, including Redcliff, Cypress County, the County of 40 Mile and Oyen.
Text line support can be reached at 587-850-5885. Web chat support can be found on MHWSS’s website.
For support outside of text and web chat service hours, individuals are encouraged to call the organization’s 24/7 help line at 403-529-1091 or toll free at 1-800-661-7949.