OTTAWA -- As a second week of calls for physical-distancing begins due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Distress Centre of Ottawa says anxiety has been “coming through the phone lines” of the Distress Line.

Manager of media, marketing and communications Leslie Scott tells CTV News Ottawa that there was a 30 per cent increase in calls to the Distress Centre of Ottawa’s Distress Line last week.

“About 27 per cent of those calls being related to COVID-19,” said Scott.

“People are unsure of what’s coming next, they’re worried about foods and medications, trying to work at home with their kids now that all daycares are closed and dealing with the “What ifs.”

The Distress Centre of Ottawa received approximately 200 calls a day last week. Scott says they received 212 calls last Tuesday, with 67 being related to COVID-19.

The Distress Centre is encouraging people to come up with some coping skills to help ease their anxiety about COVID-19 and calls for physical-distancing. Scott recommends people focus on a new or old hobby, read, start spring cleaning or get outside safely for a walk.

“Keeping moving is the most important thing. We can’t become couch potatoes.”

Scott also reminds people that physical-distancing and self-isolation doesn’t mean disconnecting from the world.  She recommends connecting with family and friends on Facetime, Zoom or other social media platforms.

“It’s very important to stay connected with your circle to bring normalcy to your life right now,” said Scott.

“Try hosting a virtual family dinner on a video chat and talk about how you’re feeling, your week ahead and your life in general.”

The Distress Centre of Ottawa is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can contact the Distress Centre at 613-238-3311 or online at