Community: Resources & Crisis Centres

The Vancouver Health Collective is one of the few grassroots feminist organizations, along with The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, The Surrey Women’s Centre, Battered Women & Rape Society – and a few women’s centres in communities across Canada.

The Women Health Information Network, based in Winnipeg….

These volunteer run on a shoe string budget that barely covers rent and poverty level salaries for a few people who mostly have to write applications for grants….


These are what compliments the official Universal Health Care, not for profit bill churning clinics that are an Americanization of Canada’s health care, which was based on a triage of needs and not those who pay go first. Because we all pay into the system, we donate blood and organs for free so that the hospitals do not charge – Paying for blood becomes a means of poverty income and that is where health crisis occur and why the Red Cross is no longer permitted to collect blood in Canada.

Anyway, a Women’s resource center will generally have a reference library, various workshop and programing offerings and groups. Usually there is also a crisis line.

not 911 or 999 what is your Police, Fire, Ambulance emergency

but a personal breakdown and is a clearinghouse of where to get your bearings in the world of victim advocacy, disease/illness support groups, abuse intervention or survivor recovery.

this is also why there is volunteer burn out and why grassroot leaders get eaten by volunteer followers – charity burn out doing it and charity rust out hearing about it.

when is there ever not a crisis?

Crisis line and crisis line hours… someone with the phone book, dialling all the numbers, the phones around the office start to ring, more and more time in between, as the person calling gives up hope…. but I am the only one on site and mine is the last number….I don’t want to, but muscle memory responds to the ring, I know it’s a crisis call and I work admin and don’t do that phone for a reason…..I don’t even get the word Hello finshed before the caller launches:

  • “my girlfriend just died and I need to know, where I can donate money to the disease that took her from me.” his grief making every word sharp, every breath a gasp of pain (I was able to look up the information)
  • “I need a woman doctor, because I am sick of men, but I also need a woman therapist to get over that because I am not a lesbian!” she shrieked, shrill and furious (I told her to date geeky nerdy men)
  • “can you get pregnant if he you know” she stammered  (I had no idea what “you know” meant, if you can’t say the words, don’t be playing with the objects)


the one that I remember the most was the woman who’s baby died during childbirth.

She wanted to know what she could do to the doctor.

I told her, there are many things you can do, the question is, what do you want the outcome to be?

There was no money that was going to compensate her or comfort her.

She didn’t want the doctor to be jailed or lose their license.

I told her that lawsuits against doctors rarely succeed and that she would have to first file a complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, if she could prove malpractice, she might be able to make an insurance claim against the doctor’s insurance.

That she would have to explore the legal options with a lawyer.

She needed someone to blame, she was grieving and suffering.

I reminded her that the hospital would have an incident review, this is not the outcome that anyone wants to anyone, but the reality is that modern medicine has create a false expectation about the safety of births, childbirth is usually why adult women die, why there is 101 boys born for every 99 girls, because there is an average of 6 infant mortality deaths.

I don’t know what decision she ultimately made, but she knew she didn’t want to deal with lawyers.

Anyway, given that China and India, as populated as they are, with their missing women rate owing to female infanticide due to their cultural preference for boys – has certainly shown interesting population comparibles when Government regulates vs lets population decide…

I was born in Canada in 1968. My umbilical cord wrapped around my neck and the doctor panicked and it was the Gasman who jumped up and saved me.

Doctors are just people, often they forgot that.

Employees vs Volunteers

Everyday Angels: Volunteers

VolunteerWorld: Vancouver Women’s Health Collective

Agoraphobic Journal: The Dark Side of the Collective Experience

Recovery Process: Volunteering

Queering the Mainstream

Job Interviewing: Volunteering

Depression 101: Volunteer at something you enjoy

Volunteering – rewards and rewarding experiences

Volunteering for Community groups – Master Class

Being an Over-experienced community volunteer…


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4 Responses to Community: Resources & Crisis Centres

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