Upcoming 9-8-8 Mental Health Crisis Line

CRTC to Implement 9-8-8 Hotline for Mental Health Crisis and Suicide Prevention

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced a groundbreaking measure to bolster mental health support and suicide prevention services in Canada. The CRTC confirmed the implementation of a new national crisis hotline number, “9-8-8,” which will serve as a dedicated mental health crisis and suicide prevention hotline. The 9-8-8 hotline will become operational November 30th, 2023. The initiative aims to provide swift assistance and resources for individuals in distress, inspired by similar successful measures in other countries.

The decision to introduce the 9-8-8 hotline comes as a response to the increasing mental health challenges faced by Canadians, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The three-digit number will act as an easily accessible and centralized point of contact for those experiencing a mental health crisis or contemplating suicide. By streamlining access to help, the CRTC hopes to destigmatize mental health issues and encourage prompt seeking of support.

Until November, the existing crisis helpline numbers will continue to be available for assistance through Talk Suicide Canada by dialing toll-free 1-833-456-4566; Adults can text 741741 and youth can text 686868. The CRTC encourages individuals to use these resources, which have been vital in providing mental health support and counseling to Canadians in need. During this transition period, public awareness campaigns will be launched to inform citizens about the upcoming 9-8-8 hotline and the services it will provide.

The Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention hopes to be involved locally with helping the implementation and rollout of the new helpline.

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July 28, 2023