Consultation about a 3-digit phone number for suicide prevention
Current status: Closed
The consultation was open from June 3, 2021 to September 1, 2021, and from November 30, 2021 to January 31, 2022.
See the “What we heard” section to find the comments that were submitted.
The CRTC held a public consultation in which individual Canadians, Indigenous organizations, organizations providing mental health crisis and suicide prevention services, organizations representing consumer interests and Deaf, Deaf Blind, or Hard of Hearing Canadians, telecommunications service providers, and various levels of government provided their views on the need for a three-digit number for mental health emergencies.
As a result of this consultation, we decided to adopt a new three-digit number, 9-8-8, to connect Canadians in need with mental health crisis and suicide prevention services. Telecommunications service providers must make changes to their networks to enable callers to dial or text 9-8-8. As a result, this number will be launched, free of charge, through calls and text messages on November 30th, 2023.
Read the policy on the launch of the new 9-8-8 number.
While 9-8-8 is not yet available in Canada, help is still available.
Anywhere in Canada:
- Call: 1-833-456-4566 (24/7)
- Adults can text: 741741
- Youth can text: 686868
- Text Talk Suicide Canada: 45645 (4 PM – 12 AM EST)
Quebec residents can also:
- Call: 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277-3553)
- Text: 1-855-957-5353
The CRTC has directed Canadian wireless service providers to inform their clients calling or texting 9-8-8 that it is not yet implemented in Canada and provide the above information about suicide prevention services. We have also encouraged all companies providing voice services to inform their clients. In addition, these companies have been directed to provide this information on their websites.
Key topics for discussion
The CRTC considered the advantages and challenges associated with the deployment of this type of number. Among other things, we sought input on the following questions:
- Should we establish a national 3-digit number for a mental health crisis and suicide prevention services?
- How much time would it take to implement a national 3-digit number?
- Should a 3-digit number be deployed across Canada at the same time or phased in?
- Should the caller’s location information be captured automatically when dialing the 3-digit number?
- Should Canadians be able to send text messages directly to the 3-digit number?
See the Notice of Consultation for more details.
What we heard
- Interventions (comments we received online, by mail and by fax)
- CRTC to implement new 9-8-8 number for mental health crisis and suicide prevention
- 9-8-8 number for mental health and suicide prevention
- 3-digit suicide prevention hotline gets green light from House of Commons External link
- 9-1-1 Services
- ASL videos: consultation about a 3-digit phone number for suicide prevention
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
Toll-free 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
- Date modified: