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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.
- Suicide affects people of all ages and backgrounds in Canada. On average, more than 10 Canadians die by suicide every day – 4,000 suicides per year.
- For every death by suicide, there are at least seven to ten loved ones impacted by the suicide and profoundly affected by the loss.
- The Government of Canada is providing $2 million over 5 years to support the development of the national suicide prevention service.
- The Canadian Distress Line Network (CDLN) is a national network of organizations that includes regional and local crisis, distress and suicide prevention services. CDLN member organizations currently respond to more than 75,000 suicide-related calls each year and more than 650,000 distress and crisis texts, calls and chats.
- Rogers Communications was selected as the technology provider by the CDLN, following a competitive process that concluded earlier this year. The technology being provided by Rogers Communications is a Virtual Contact Centre (VCC), a web-based networking solution that routes calls, texts and chat messages through one phone number. The Rogers VCC will link more than 30 distress and crisis call centres across the country, including sites that provide regional suicide prevention support.
"We are pleased to be part of this important project, which will ensure that Canadians of all ages and backgrounds can access the help they need, when they need it, with technology that works for them. I look forward to working with the provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, non-governmental organizations and the private sector so that, together, we can help prevent suicide across Canada."
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
"This national suicide prevention service, which includes more than 30 Canadian community organizations, welcomes the support of the Government of Canada and Rogers. While phone, chat and text response will be available 24/7 to everyone in Canada, it will be regionally delivered, thereby ensuring that every person receives the same high standard of local suicide prevention support by empathic, highly trained responders."
Elizabeth Fisk, Certified Association Executive
Implementation Manager, Canadian Distress Line Network
"Rogers is proud to be working alongside the Canadian Distress Line Network and the Public Health Agency of Canada to provide connectivity for the national suicide prevention service. Our virtual contact centre solution will securely connect more than 30 distress and crisis call centres across the country, providing a reliable service for Canadians from communities coast to coast who require suicide prevention support."
President, Enterprise Business Unit, Rogers Communications
Public Health Agency of Canada
Canadian Distress Line Network
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