November 30, 2023 in Lifestyle

Breaking news: 9-8-8 launches today across Canada

The holiday season is a busy time for many of us, and CAMH is no exception! Earlier this week, we celebrated Giving Tuesday and many of you chose to support Canada’s leading mental health hospital. On behalf of my CAMH colleagues, thank you for your support! The generosity of people like you enables the work we do to improve mental health care and share our vision of creating a world where Mental Health is Health. That’s why we wanted you to be among the first to hear about a life-saving initiative led by CAMH that is launching today.

At 9 a.m. this morning November 30th , 9-8-8, Canada’s new suicide crisis helpline started taking calls. Beginning today, 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 the Chief Medical Officer 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.

Please join all of us at CAMH in marking this important milestone for mental health care. Thank you for being part of our community and helping us build a future where no one is left behind.

Dr. Allison Crawford signatureDr. Allison CrawfordDr. Allison CrawfordChief Medical Officer, 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline
Clinician Scientist, CAMH

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