Share your views and ideas on a 3-digit phone number for mental health support
Current status: Open
Start date: June 3, 2021
End date: September 1, 2021
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.
Do you 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. We will not assess the organizations that provide mental health services. 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.
How to participate
There are a few ways you can participate. Keep in mind that we will make all submissions public.
Fill out the online form by 8 p.m. (EDT) on September 1, 2021 to share your comments. You’ll have to agree to our privacy statement first.
Write a letter to the Secretary General with your ideas and input to the mailing address below.
Send us your ideas and comments to the fax number below.
Who is the focus of this consultation
Canadians and telecom service providers are the focus of this consultation.
Key topics for discussion
The CRTC is examining the advantages and challenges associated with the deployment of this type of number. Among other things, we are seeking 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?
Learn more about the topics for discussion set out in the Notice of Consultation.
- 3-digit suicide prevention hotline gets green light from House of Commons External link
- 9-1-1 Services
Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 0N2
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