United Way Lanark County and the Ontario 211 helpline are asking residents to make the right call

United Way logoFebruary 11 is 211 Day across North America. To mark 211 Day, United Way Lanark County (UWLC) and the 211 Ontario helpline are asking residents to make the right call if they want or need help.

Call 2-1-1 for information on your community, social and health services if you don’t know where to turn with a problem. Call 911 for threats or harm to a person or property that require police, fire or ambulance services. Knowing the right number to call will help residents find the right services for their situation and has the potential to reduce inappropriate calls to 911 from residents.

“211 is an easy to remember phone number like 911. 211 is answered by highly trained specialists who know our community services and can refer callers to services near them,” said Fraser Scantlebury, Executive Director of UWLC. “211 has information not only on services United Way supports but all our community’s social, health and government services that can help you with any number of life’s challenges.”

211 is answered live, 24 hours a day, every day of the year including holidays. Residents are encouraged to call 2-1-1 for services like food banks if they are hungry, mental health support if they are stressed or for the non-emergency police number if they need the police but it is not an emergency.

“Making the right call to 211 will help residents of Lanark County get the help they need more quickly,” said Mary Wilson Trider, CEO of Almonte General Hospital and 211 Ontario Board member. “You wouldn’t call a plumber to fix a flat tire. 211 staff are trained to help people find the right services for the challenges they are facing today.”

“211 is your one stop shop to find services that are often provided by any of the three levels of government, charities and non-profits. Everything from finding the phone number for Telehealth Ontario to tax clinics for seniors and low-income people to homework clubs and seniors’ centres,” said Marie-Andress Carriere, Executive Director, Community Information Centre of Ottawa. “We do not provide information on businesses.”

211 is the Ontario helpline for community and social service information. 211 is answered live 24/7 by highly trained Information and Referral Specialists. The database is updated by trained Information Resource Specialists. 211 is supported by the United Ways in Ontario and the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Interpretation of calls is available in more than 150 languages.

Should you require further information or wish have a 211 information presentation for your staff, please contact the United Way Lanark County office at 613-253-9074 or Kate via e-mail at khallas@lanarkunitedway.com.

Backgrounder

Call 2-1-1 for:

  • Non-emergency police number
  • Food banks
  • Walk in clinics
  • Alzheimer support
  • Mental health help
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Emergency shelters for homeless
  • Services for domestic violence victims
  • Public health
  • Telehealth Ontario
  • Crisis services
  • Provincial and local helpline phone numbers
  • Settlement help for newcomers
  • Housing help centres
  • Youth drop in programs
  • Child, youth and family counselling
  • Emergency utility assistance
  • Understanding which government service might help or assistance
  • Disability support programs
  • Parenting programs

Call 9-1-1 for:

In an emergency, call 911 immediately.

An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or paramedics. Examples include:

  • A fire
  • A crime, especially if in progress
  • A car crash, especially if someone is injured
  • A medical emergency, such as someone who is unconscious, gasping for air or not breathing, experiencing an allergic reaction, having chest pain, having uncontrollable bleeding, or any other symptoms that require immediate medical attention