Government of Canada Announces Brampton-based 9-8-8 Network partner
South Asian Canadians Health and Social Services will provide suicide crisis support as part of the 9-8-8 network
November 9, 2023 | Brampton, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada
Every day, 12 people die by suicide in Canada. Each life lost by suicide can have far-reaching effects, whether that's families grappling with the loss of a loved one or the ripple effects that are felt within their communities. Suicide is a serious public health issue that impacts people of all ages and backgrounds across the country. The Government of Canada is taking steps to help ensure that everyone in Canada has access to suicide prevention resources and other crisis supports—whenever and wherever they need them.
In July, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $156 million over three years to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) for the implementation and operation of 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline, building on their experience delivering Talk Suicide Canada.
Today, the Honourable Ya’ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction and Associate Minister of Health, announced that South Asian Canadians Health and Social Services (SACHSS) has signed a service agreement with CAMH and will join the 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline network. SACHSS is a registered Not for profit charity organization offering culturally and linguistically appropriate services, for South Asian men, women, seniors and youth, and other communities. Among the services offered, SACHSS offers programs on health education, health promotion, mental health and addictions.
As of November 30, 2023, 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline will be available in English and French, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, to everyone in Canada. The 9-8-8 service will offer trauma-informed and culturally appropriate suicide prevention services and will be delivered by trained crisis responders using best practices, procedures and protocols. Implementation and delivery of the 9-8-8 service will continue to be informed by ongoing engagement with provinces and territories, and organizations representing populations most affected by suicide.
By joining the 9-8-8 network, partners will continue to provide support to their communities, both through their existing crisis services and by taking calls and texts from 9-8-8. When someone reaches out to 9-8-8, wherever possible, they will be connected to the responder that is closest to them, based on their area code. A robust national Hub will provide additional capacity, taking calls and texts when a local responder is not available.
While work is underway to implement 9-8-8, people in Canada continue to have access to Talk Suicide Canada, which offers bilingual crisis and suicide prevention support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Talk Suicide can be reached at 1-833-456-4566 by phone, and by text (in the evenings) at 45645. Residents of Quebec can call 1-866-277-3553, text 535353, or visit suicide.ca for support by online chat. People in Canada can also find support from their local crisis or distress lines.
“Each life lost by suicide can have far-reaching effects, be it families grappling with the loss of a loved one or the ripple effects that are felt within their communities. We’re partnering with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to implement a national 9-8-8 number for suicide prevention across the country. I am pleased to announce South Asian Canadians Health & Social Services as one of the many crises and distress centres across the country who will provide confidential and judgment-free suicide prevention support for the people in their community.”
The Honourable Ya’ara Saks
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health
“We are delighted that South Asian Canadians Health & Social Services is bringing their considerable experience and expertise to 9-8-8. Support close to home is one of the key values underpinning 9-8-8 and partners like South Asian Canadians Health & Social Services will play a critical role in the service locally. Because of them, people who reach out to 9-8-8 will be able to connect to a responder who understands the issues that may be impacting their lives. We’re so grateful for their commitment and collaboration to this vital service.”
Dr. Allison Crawford
Chief Medical Officer, 9-8-8 and Talk Suicide Canada
“South Asian Canadians Health & Social Services is very honoured and glad to be part of this great, exciting and much needed project, the Canada wide 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention Crisis Helpline, working with the Government of Canada, Ministry of Health, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and other organisations. This great project will help in saving lives and contributing to a good quality of life among Canadians.”
Dr. Maher Hussain
CEO & Clinical Director, South Asian Canadians Health & Social Services
Budget 2023 announced $158.4 million over 3 years to support the implementation and operation of 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) will lead the coordination of the service delivery of 9-8-8, building on its experience delivering Talk Suicide Canada.
CAMH is the largest mental health teaching hospital in Canada and one of the world’s leading research centres in its field.
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Ya'ara Saks
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
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