A new three-digit number is available across Canada in an effort to furnish uphold for suicide prevention.
Canadians can call or text 9-8-8 to access the suicide crisis helpline. The service is available in English and French, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is responsible for the helpline’s implementation. The Government of Canada provided $156 million in funding.
Ya’ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction and Associate Minister of Health, said the government will take advocate action on the matter as well.
“While we celebrate the launch of 9-8-8, we must also admit that this is just the beginning,” Saks said in a press release. “We will continue to work closely with CAMH, provinces and territories and other important partners to ensure 9-8-8 continues to confront the ever-changing needs of Canada’s diverse populations.”
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) directed telecom providers to carry out the service by November 30th, 2023. Several service providers have shared the availability of the number on social media.
Today, @CAMHnews is launching a national mental health crisis and suicide prevention number that anyone can access by either dialing or texting 9-8-8 on their phone. The service is hosted by CAMH and will be available 24/7, free of charge and will be supported by all carriers in…
— TELUS (@TELUS) November 30, 2023
Image credit: Shutterstock
Source: Public Health Agency of Canada