Canada Launches New Nationwide Suicide Crisis Helpline

9-8-8 is the new, nationwide suicide crisis helpline. It is the line to call if you, or someone who know, are dealing with thoughts of suicide. 

9-8-8 is the new, nationwide suicide crisis helpline. It is the line to call if you, or someone who know, are dealing with thoughts of suicide. 

The introduction of a central, three-digit crisis line is an update I have been advocating for since my campaign for office. This 24/7 line has the potential to save lives by making it easier for people to access help when they need it most. 

With mental health being a top priority across the city and the country, I am thrilled to see this nationwide service being launched. 

How does 9-8-8 work? 

When you call or text 9-8-8, you will reach a responder at one of nearly 40 local, provincial and territorial, and national crisis lines, who work together to deliver the service. When calling from Toronto, you will be connected to Gerstein Crisis Centre. Once connected, the responder will listen without judgement, provide support and understanding, and connect you to other resources that may be helpful.

How is 9-8-8 different from other crisis lines? 

9-8-8 is a suicide prevention-focused crisis line. In most situations, 9-8-8 responders will not involve police or other emergency services.

If you require immediate, in-person, attention from a crisis outreach team, call 2-1-1 to reach the Toronto Community Crisis Service (TCCS), who will dispatch a trained team of multidisciplinary crisis workers. 

If you are in an emergency situation requiring police, firefighters, or paramedics, call the emergency 9-1-1 line. 

About Gerstein Crisis Centre

Gerstein Crisis Centre, located at 100 Charles Street East here in Toronto Centre, has been providing community-based crisis support since 1989. In addition to delivering the new 9-8-8 service, Gerstein Crisis Centre's work also includes an in-person mobile crisis team, community support referrals, substance use crisis management and access to short-term crisis beds. 

For more information visit 988.ca

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