9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Helpline Launched by CRTC, Telecoms
Mental health support in Canada has expanded with 9-8-8, a new three-digit suicide crisis helpline.
Available in both English and French and operating 24/7 across the nation, the service offers immediate aid to those in need. The federal government has allocated $156 million over three years to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to implement and manage the helpline.
“Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. There is hope and resources available for people in need. Starting today, people across Canada have access to an important life-saving service no matter the time of day or where they live,” said Ya’ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction and Associate Minister of Health.
“The inclusion of the Hope for Wellness Helpline in the 9-8-8 network will provide culturally appropriate support Indigenous peoples need, when they need it,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada. Support is also available in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut upon request.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there are on average of 12 suicides per day in Canada. The CRTC adopted 9-8-8 for suicide prevention last August and wireless carriers were to implement and activate the number by November 30, 2023. Numerous telecoms are promoting 9-8-8 on social media platforms today.