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9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline launched across Canada yesterday – and Quinte Health is proud to be a partner in this new service.  Quinte Health responders will take 9-8-8 calls and provide support to people who are thinking about suicide or worried about someone they know. 

Quinte Health is part of a growing network of more than 40 experienced local, provincial and territorial, and national crisis lines across the country providing culturally appropriate, lifesaving support to people who call or text 9-8-8.  Quinte Health’s Crisis Intervention Centre (CIC) community mental health program will maintain its services on launch of 9-8-8.  The 9-8-8 team will be integrated with CIC to facilitate mentorship and referrals.  The CIC team will accept referrals for counseling services to only those within Quinte Health service region. 

9-8-8 is here to prevent suicide by making it as simple as possible for people to get the support they need, when they need it, no matter who they are or where they are located in Canada.   There is no wrong way to ask for help – whether someone reaches out to 9-8-8 or another local, provincial, territorial, or national crisis line, someone will be there to give them the support they need.

A three-digit number is easy to remember, so people will know where to reach out for help when they need it most. Everyone who calls or texts will be offered a safe space to share and be heard. By calling or texting 9-8-8 you will connect with a responder who will listen, offer empathy, and provide support without judgement.

About 988:   An average of 4,500 people across Canada die by suicide each year – affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. 9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Helpline is a new three-digit helpline that provides urgent, live support by phone and text to people in every province and territory across the country.  9-8-8 is for anyone who is thinking about suicide, or who is worried about someone they know.  Suicide prevention is the primary focus of 9-8-8, but no one who calls or texts the helpline will be turned away.  9-8-8 responders work with callers and texters to find ways to cope when things feel overwhelming and help them find a path to safety.  Responder training is informed by evidence, best practices, and the voices of people most affected by suicide to ensure that anyone, anywhere, can access the support they need.  The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto is leading and coordinating delivery of 9-8-8 nationwide. 9-8-8 is funded by the Government of Canada, through the Public Health Agency of Canada.


On average, more than 12 Canadians die by suicide every day. Suicide is also the second-leading cause of death for children and young adults under 30 years old.  Being able to dial a simple three-digit call like 9-8-8 and connect to free mental health services is a lifeline for people who need it.  We need to continue to focus on mental health support and counselling for everyone who is struggling. – Ryan Williams, MP, Bay of Quinte

While there are many good mental health resources available in the Quinte region, in times of crisis it can be difficult to know where to turn. The new 9-8-8 phone line provides an immediate, easy-to-remember pathway to help.  I’m pleased to see the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has opted to integrate with Quinte Health’s Crisis Intervention Centre to rely on its expertise to deliver this vital suicide-prevention service 24/7 in our communities. – Todd Smith, Bay of Quinte MPP

With the mental health crisis at an all-time high, today’s announcement is a huge step in the right direction.  By putting this crucial service in the hands of those on the front line who face these issues every day, we know that our residents are getting the best support possible. We are very proud of the Quinte Health team for taking the initiative on this and look forward to the difference this will make for our community.  – Neil Ellis, Mayor, Belleville

This is about providing immediate, confidential, and non-judgmental help and support to people in distress, potentially preventing suicide attempts and deaths.  Being part of a national suicide prevention effort helps reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide. It sends a message that seeking help is a brave and responsible step, not a sign of weakness.  I am immensely proud of our Quinte Health team for being selected to be part of this national service network under CAMH’s leadership. – Dr. Colin MacPherson, Chief of Staff, Quinte Health. 

We are delighted that Quinte Health is bringing their valuable experience and expertise to 9-8-8. Their partnership means that people who call or text 9-8-8 will be able to get support close to home, from someone who understands the issues that may be impacting their lives.  We’re so grateful for Quinte Health’s commitment to this vital service.  – Dr. Allison Crawford, a psychiatrist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Chief Medical Officer for 9-8-8