Telecom - Commission Letter addressed to the Distribution List
Ottawa, 15 June 2022
Our reference: 1011-NOC2021-0191
RE: Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2021-191, Introduction of a three-digit abbreviated dialing code for mental health crisis and suicide prevention services – Wording for network announcements for mobile wireless calls and text to 9-8-8
On 3 June 2022, the Commission issued a letter setting out certain determinations in the proceeding initiated by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2021-191. Specifically, in light of the anticipated introduction of a three-digit code for a national mental health crisis and suicide prevention hotline (i.e. 9-8-8) in the United States on 16 July 2022, the Commission considered that it would be appropriate for telecommunications service providers to take certain measures in Canada to attenuate the risk that someone in mental health crisis calling or texting 9-8-8 in Canada as of that date would not be able to reach the help they need.
In that letter, the Commission, among other things, required mobile wireless carriers, as a condition of service pursuant to section 24 of the Telecommunications Act, to implement announcements on their mobile wireless networks for voice calls and text by 16 July 2022. The Commission indicated that:
- These announcements must be provided in both official languages; and,
- These announcements must inform people who dial 9-8-8 that 9-8-8 is not yet implemented in Canada, and provide information on Canada’s suicide prevention service (e.g. the toll-free number 1-833-456-4566 for voice calls at any time, or the common short code 45645 for texts from 4pm to midnight Eastern Time).
Following the issuance of these determinations, Commission staff received communications from certain mobile wireless carriers requesting that the Commission provide the wording for the network announcements and text auto-replies to be implemented for mobile wireless calls and texts to 9-8-8.
Commission staff considers that, for reasons of efficiency, it would be appropriate to provide some guidance as to the wording of these announcements.
Commission staff has consulted with the Public Health Agency of Canada regarding the wording of these announcements, and suggests the following wording:
Mobile wireless calls to 9-8-8:
- 9-8-8 is not available yet in Canada, but help is still available. Please hang up and call Canada’s suicide prevention service at 1-833-456-4566.
- Le 9-8-8 n’est pas encore disponible au Canada, mais de l’aide est disponible. Veuillez raccrocher et appeler le service canadien de prévention du suicide au 1-833-456-4566.
Texts to 9-8-8:
- 9-8-8 is not available yet in Canada, but help is still available. Adults can text 741741 and youth can text 686868. Quebec residents can text 1-855-957-5353. You can also call Canada’s suicide prevention service at 1-833-456-4566.
- Le 9-8-8 n’est pas encore disponible au Canada, mais de l'aide est disponible. Les adultes peuvent texter le 741741 et les jeunes le 686868. Les résidents du Québec peuvent texter le 1-855-957-5353. Vous pouvez aussi appeler le service canadien de prévention du suicide au 1-833-456-4566.
This information was also provided by email to mobile wireless carriers on 9 June 2022.
Original signed by
Director, Telecommunications Network Policy
- Date modified: