Consultation about a 3-digit phone number for mental health support

Current status:  Closed

The consultation ran from June 3, 2021 to September 1, 2021.
See the “What we heard” section to find the comments that were submitted.

We are all familiar with 9-1-1, the phone number for police, fire and medical emergencies. How about a 3-digit phone number for mental health emergencies? When someone is having a mental health crisis, it can be very difficult to find—or remember—a 10-digit or 7-digit phone number. This can prevent someone from receiving the help they urgently need.

We asked Canadians whether they think Canada should have a 3-digit phone number that connects to mental health crisis and suicide prevention services. Suicide is a complex issue that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. In Canada, many different organizations offer mental health support. The services they offer and the areas they serve vary greatly. The 3-digit number would direct the caller to the appropriate mental health crisis or suicide prevention service in their area. But implementing this in Canada will have both benefits and challenges.

The CRTC regulates the phone and wireless companies who direct and connect calls to call centres. Call centres and emergency services fall under the jurisdiction of provincial, territorial and municipal governments. The organizations that provide mental health services will not be part of our assessment. We do not have any authority over those organizations. Our role is to examine the technical implications of a 3-digit phone number and oversee its implementation by the companies, if we find that it is in the public interest.

Key topics for discussion

The CRTC needs to consider the advantages and challenges associated with the deployment of this type of number. Among other things, we sought input on the following questions:

See the Notice of Consultation for more details.

What we heard

The consultation was open from June 3, 2021 to September 1, 2021. Take a look at the comments shared:

Related information

Contact us

Mail

Secretary General
CRTC
Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 0N2

Fax

819-994-0218

Telephone

(819) 997-0313
Toll-free 1 (877) 249-CRTC (2782)
TTY (819) 994-0423

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