Start a 988 suicide help line in Canada

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   This July,  US Federal Communications Commission's five leaders voted unanimously to begin putting the 988 number into effect for mental health emergencies. In 2022, US citizens will be able to call 988 to receive help when in crisis. This is expected to save lives by giving an easier and more convenient number to call similar to 911.

   Our current 10 digit number is long and hard to remember. It is estimated that everyday an average of 10 Canadians will die from suicide. I believe this number could be lowered with a more reliable and easier to remember hotline. This is a problem very close to my heart because I have almost lost several loved ones to suicide, including myself.

   My hope is that this new 3 digit number will work quickly and efficiently to match an individual in crisis with medical and mental health professionals. With this system in place, the number of mental health related 911 calls will hopefully decrease and individuals will instead be met with the people who are most adequately trained to help them.

   Every year, people in crisis are killed or harmed after police are called for a mental health emergency. This risk is especially high for those who are BIPOC. This new emergency number could help bring support to the BIPOC community and our community as a whole by redirecting 24/7 help for mental health emergencies away from police and toward medical and mental health professionals.

   I want to see Canadian politicians follow in America’s footsteps to implement the 988 hotline or another 3 digit emergency number and take a stand against suicide. I would like to challenge them to take it a step further than the US and provide a short digit number that is available for calling and texting all across Canada. Please sign and share to spread this to someone who can make a big change for Canadians.