National 211 Day is February 11, 2020

Please join us to celebrate National 211 Day with communities across Canada by sharing information about this important service

211 is a vital service that helps Canadians access information on government and community-based programs and services. 211 information experts help callers make sense of government and community-based health and social services information that is often buried on websites and social media channels.

211 now reaches more than 26 million Canadians, providing confidential information to anyone experiencing life challenges. The service is an important gateway for connecting to the services people need to overcome these challenges.

Connecting people to the help that they need

Dialing or texting 211 provides individuals and families in need with a shortcut through a maze of government, community, and social service agencies. 211 connects callers daily to resources for issues such as shelter and housing, mental health and substance use, legal aid, and non-emergency health issues.

Join us on February 11 for #211Day and help Canadians #MakeTheRightCall

This year, on #211Day, United Way Centraides, 211 ambassadors, and 211 service providers are working together to inform Canadians on how to ‘Make the Right Call’. The campaign aims to help Canadians access the appropriate non-emergency services through 211, while reducing congestion caused by non-emergency calls to 911. For example, E-Comm 911 in BC reports that for every 100 legitimate emergency calls to 911, another 150 to 200 calls are classified as non-emergency. 211 enables people to find appropriate assistance, without having to unnecessarily burden emergency services.

To help get that message across, The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, The Paramedic Association of Canada, and Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs have all lent their support to #211day this year.

Tim Stairs, Treasurer of the Paramedic Association of Canada explains that, “As paramedics we’re one of the only health care providers to care for a patient in their home situation. We see the evidence of the issues they might be dealing with beyond their immediate health emergency, but we’re not equipped to answer every need. 211 is a great resource to be able to share with our patients and their families, so they can get help resolving some of their other challenges.”

When to call 911 and when to call 211

Canadians should call 9-1-1 for a life-threatening emergency, when a property is in danger or a crime is in progress that requires the police, fire or paramedics.

On the other hand, calling 211 can put you in touch with non-emergency resources which may be critical for your safety and well-being. Here are some ways that 211 can help:

  • 211 can help access non-emergency medical services such as accessing medical equipment or finding a family doctor.
  • 211 can help provide information on support services for caregivers.
  • 211 can connect you to services that provide temporary financial relief when unexpected expenses tip a family budget over the edge.
  • 211 can provide information on where to get help if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or addiction issues.
  • 211 connects people to food banks, community kitchens, nutrition programs, and meal delivery services for seniors.
  • 211 can help identify legal services available to you such as legal aid, system navigation for child and family services, and victim services.

More Canadians than ever can Make the Right Call and access information on government and community-based health and social services with 211.

Find out More

For more information on 211 Day, check out the article which will be posted on our partner Future of Good’s website on February 11.

More information on bc211, visit us online or call 604-875-6431.