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Government of Canada supports the development of a national suicide prevention service

Partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Distress Line Network, and Rogers Communications to link crisis lines across Canada

November 24, 2016 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada

Suicide affects people of all ages and backgrounds, and its impacts on families and communities can be devastating. Working together to connect people to appropriate supports and resources will help prevent suicide.

Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced the Government of Canada's support for the development of a national suicide prevention service. The service, which will use text, chat and phone technology, will integrate and link existing regional distress and crisis line services across Canada. Once fully implemented in late 2017, it will ensure that individuals in crisis, regardless of where they live in Canada have access to free and confidential support, on a 24/7 basis.

The Canadian Distress Line Network and its partners have already begun testing the service in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. This pilot phase includes testing the integration and compatibility of the various technological platforms used to link existing crisis call centres, developing standardized training for responders, and setting national service standards.

The service is an example of the initiatives envisioned under the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention. The Framework provides guiding principles for the Government's ongoing work with all sectors to help prevent suicide. This includes raising public awareness and reducing stigma associated with suicide, disseminating information and data to help prevent suicide, and promoting the use of research and evidence-based practices in suicide prevention.

Please refer to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention's list of crisis centres across Canada.

In addition, the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line, which was launched last month, can be reached at 1-855-242-3310. It is toll-free and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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