9-8-8 – Canada’s new mental health crisis hotline

At 9 a.m. this morning, 9-8-8, Canada’s new suicide crisis helpline started taking calls. People across Canada can call and text 9-8-8, a three-digit number for suicide prevention, giving people experiencing thoughts of suicide, or people worried about someone else, an accessible and easy number to call when they need urgent help.
CAMH is leading and coordinating the national rollout of 9-8-8, which is available in English and French, 24/7, 365 days a year to any person living in Canada who is thinking about suicide, in emotional distress or worried about someone they know. As a country, we need this essential service now more than ever: Every year, 4,500 Canadians die by suicide, and for every person lost, 135 people are impacted by that loss. 9-8-8 will offer people help and hope.
CAMH is uniquely positioned to use our expertise and collaborate with partners in bringing this critical service to Canadians when they need it most. Our leadership in the coordination of 9-8-8 builds on our work on Talk Suicide Canada, the national prevention suicide line that preceded 9-8-8. As Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allison Crawford with Talk Suicide Canada, and now 9-8-8, I’ve seen how effective interventions increase our connection and support for people who are struggling. The launch of 9-8-8 is a major milestone for mental health in Canada.

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