Distress line work worthy of praise, not personal attacks

Emma Eaton The Second Opinion Society (SOS) has been a vibrant community of people helping people in Whitehorse and the communities of Yukon for nearly a quarter of a century. Recently, questions were raised regarding SOS's partnership with NorthwesTel a

Emma Eaton

The Second Opinion Society (SOS) has been a vibrant community of people helping people in Whitehorse and the communities of Yukon for nearly a quarter of a century.

Recently, questions were raised regarding SOS’s partnership with NorthwesTel and Bell for a distress phone line. The competency of our planning, development and finance co-ordinator, Hailey Hechtman, was also called into question, and we’d like to address some of those concerns.

Our new distress line is an extension of SOS’s proud tradition of a community coming together to help its members. In our volunteer drive, we have been so happy to see all walks of life and all ages volunteering to support each other.

Bringing this distress line to the Yukon has been, at times, a great struggle, but we believe that it is both worthwhile and necessary.

The credit for this distress line within SOS goes to Hailey Hechtman, who has been working tirelessly on this project for many months. We would like to add that she has had the full support of the board, our members and the wider community, who attended our general meeting in July of this year to hear a report on our progress with the distress line.

We, the board and the members of SOS, are very proud to have Hechtman in our employ. In addition, NorthwesTel has generously donated significant resources to this project, and without their support it would not be possible. We are very grateful for NorthwesTel’s and Bell’s support.

Speaking of the wider community, some questions were raised regarding the RCMP’s relationship with SOS and the distress line.

It is true that many people have been forced into treatment without their consent, and law enforcement has been a part of this distressing process. When we approached the RCMP regarding this distress line, however, it provided us with a letter of support, and we’d like to share some of it with you.

It reads: “Community safety can be greatly impacted by a variety of social issues including addictions and mental health… if not proactively addressed, these issues can result in a police intervention in situations that are not criminal in nature.”

The RCMP supports Yukon’s new distress line because it believes that an alternative approach to distress situations is necessary for the Yukon community, and welcomes the trained peer counselling that this distress line will provide.

If you would like to hear more about the distress line, or would like to volunteer, we welcome your questions! Please phone SOS at 867-667-2037 or pop by our drop-in centre at 304 Hawkins St. in Whitehorse between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Emma Eaton chairs the Second

Opinion Society board of directors.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services building in Whitehorse on March 28, 2019. Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed for good say they were relieved to hear that the Yukon RCMP has undertaken a forensic audit into the now-defunct NGO’s financial affairs. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Former Many Rivers board members relieved to hear about forensic audit, wonder what took so long

Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed… Continue reading

Whitehorse General Hospital in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. The Yukon Employees’ Union and Yukon Hospital Corporation are at odds over whether there’s a critical staffing shortage at the territory’s hospitals. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
YEU, Yukon Hospital Corp. at odds over whether hospitals are understaffed

YEU says four nurses quit within 12 hours last week, a claim the YHC says is “inaccurate”

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates, Ray Hartling and Mark Lange, have filed a class action against the jail, corrections officials and Yukon government on behalf of everyone who’s been placed in two restrictive units over the past six years. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Class action filed against Whitehorse Correctional Centre over use of segregation

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates have filed a class action against… Continue reading


Wyatt’s World for Oct. 21, 2020

Movie poster for <em>Ìfé,</em> a movie being shown during OUT North Film Festival, which includes approximately 20 different films accessible online this year. (Submitted)
OUT North Film Festival moves to virtual format

In its ninth year, the artistic director said this year has a more diverse set of short and feature films

Triple J’s Canna Space in Whitehorse on April 17, 2019, opens their first container of product. Two years after Canada legalized the sale of cannabis, Yukon leads the country in per capita legal sales. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon leads Canadian cannabis sales two years after legalization

Private retailers still asking for changes that would allow online sales

A sign greets guests near the entrance of the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse on June 11. The city announced Oct. 16 it was moving into the next part of its phased reopening plan with spectator seating areas open at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CGC reopening continues

Limited spectator seating now available

During Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward a recommendation that a proposed Official Community Plan amendment move forward that would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend, currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
More development in Whistle Bend contemplated

OCP change would be the first of several steps to develop future area

EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Most Read