New emergency number launched for those experiencing a mental health crisis

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Across Canada, 24/7 and for no charge, those looking for help during a mental crisis can dial or text 988, the Suicide Crisis Helpline, for a fast, focused response to their emergency.

Supported by three-years of federal funding and offered in French and English, 9-8-8 will connect people in crisis or those caring for them with resources and help, similar to a 9-1-1 emergency call. A partnership of nearly 40 care providers and organizations, those who call will be asked to navigate a short menu, and then connected with resources based on location and need.

9-8-8 is designed to work in remote and rural areas, including the north.

It should be noted, 9-8-8 is intended as an emergency line, not as a means of accessing on-going mental health services.

Approximately 4,500 people die by suicide each year in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. That’s equivalent to about 12 people per day.

 

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