How do I access support?
As a public health measure, the SASC is providing support services at a distance during our regular hours. In-person support is also available by appointment.
To access support at the SASC, you can phone our support line at 604-827-5180 Monday-Friday between 8AM to 10PM and Saturday-Sunday from 11AM to 7PM. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our Contact Us page for more specific contact information. Appointments can be set up to be over the phone or video calls.
The SASC now offers support over the messaging app Signal at 604-729-5476. For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page. Please note that while general inquiries can be made over Signal, staff will need to go over our intake forms with you either over email, a phone/video call, or in-person appointment before ongoing support over Signal can be offered for safety reasons.
During phone or video calls, you are welcome to invite friends, family or supports from other organizations. We hope to be as flexible as possible so that you can be comfortable.
Signal Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Signal?
Signal is a free messaging app, similar to Whatsapp or Viber, that allows you to send messages over an internet connection, using end-to-end encryption (E2EE). End-to-end encryption prevents third parties from accessing data while it is transferring from one device to another. Signal is considered one of the safest messaging apps. For these reasons, the SASC has decided to use Signal to allow for safe message communication. In appearance, it looks similar to sending a text message. Chat messages can be set to disappear after a certain amount of time, we set it to delete after one week unless you prefer a shorter timeframe.
How is this different from texting?
Sending text messages over a cellular network is not a secure form of communication as they cannot be end-to-end encrypted. Signal ensures end-to-end encryption (E2EE) and uses an internet connection. For this reason, we limit text message conversations as much as possible, and encourage folx to use Signal if you would like to communicate in a message format with support workers.
What about when I do not have access to the internet?
Unfortunately, to ensure messages are sent securely you will need internet access on your device. If you do not have internet access and want to contact a support worker, please call us at 604-827-5180.
When can I message you?
Support workers are available to respond to your messages Monday-Friday 8am-10pm and Saturday-Sunday 11am-7pm. If you are seeking support after these hours, please consider phoning WAVAW’s 24-hour crisis line at 604-255-6344.
What if I’m worried about someone reading my messages on my device?
We do not suggest using Signal, text messages or emails if there is a high risk that your device may be seen or used by someone else. Messages are set to disappear off the platform automatically after a week, that is adjustable to as little as five seconds after they have been read. Please let us know of your privacy concerns in advance and whether you prefer to have the messages disappear in a shorter timeframe than a week.
Will I be able to message a specific support worker directly?
Essentially no. We rotate who checks the Signal App depending on who is working. Support workers will let you know who you are communicating with. If you would like to contact a specific support worker directly please use email, however we strongly suggest that emails be limited to scheduling information.