The Government of Canada is taking an important step to provide suicide prevention support for people who need it, when they need it most. 9-8-8, Canada’s new three-digit suicide crisis helpline, is now available to call or text, in English and French, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, across Canada.
Suicide continues to be a serious public health issue impacting people of all ages and backgrounds, and more needs to be done to support those in crisis. This is why the Government of Canada has provided $156 million over three years to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to implement and operate the 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline. As of Nov. 30, an experienced network of partners has trained responders ready to answer 9-8-8 calls and texts. Responders will provide support and compassion without judgement. They are here to help callers and texters explore ways to keep themselves safe when things are overwhelming.
The Government of Canada and CAMH have worked closely with partners from across many different sectors in the months leading up to Nov. 30’s launch. Those partnerships are the foundation of the 9-8-8 network. This includes local partners such as Distress Centres of Greater Toronto and Gerstein Crisis Centre, Distress Centre of Ottawa, Crisis Prevention, Intervention and Information Centre for Northern BC, Canadian Mental Health Association Edmonton and others across the country, as well as national partners such as Kids Help Phone and Hope for Wellness, who will continue to provide dedicated service through 9-8-8 to youth and Indigenous communities. As the 9-8-8 system continues to mature and evolve, PHAC and CAMH will continue to explore ways to build the network and support current and future network partners.
If you or someone you may know is thinking about suicide, call or text 9-8-8.