Phone In

Suicide Hotline

Canada's Suicide hotline is 1-833-456-4566

In April, American rapper Logic released a song featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid, titled 1-800-273-8255.  It may seem like a strange name for a song, but the idea is that most of us remember the titles of the songs we hear…and remembering this song title could actually help save someone’s life. 1-800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States.

The great news is that not only has the powerful message in the lyrics of this song helped encourage the conversation around mental health and worth, it has also given the suicide hotline’s toll free number extreme mainstream exposure.

Since the song’s release, calls to the suicide hotline have increased by over 33% on average, compared to last year, according to a CNN report.  In the same article, John Draper, director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also shares: "We can certainly attribute and have seen call increases relative to tragic events and alarming portrayals of suicide in the media -- anywhere from (musicians) Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington's suicides, and (the Netflix show) '13 Reasons Why,'…But here's what's really important: Logic is generating calls with a song about getting help and finding hope. It's not focusing on tragedy or suicide. In fact, he's starting conversations about suicide prevention, as opposed to suicide." (emphasis added)

Northern Exposure

All of this exposure has been so important to broaden and continue the conversation of hope, but the unfortunate news is that if you are outside the US and call this specific 1-800-273-8255 suicide hotline, they are unable to assist you because you’re out of the country where they provide services. With the song catching on north of the border, Canadians were reaching out for help only to find that they had to call someone else.  They had to find a Canadian suicide hotline number instead. You might be surprised to learn that Canada has never had a national Canadian suicide hotline - until now.

On November 28, 2017, over a decade of work came together when Crisis Services Canada launched the first National Suicide Prevention Service in Canada!  Today, dialing 1-833-456-4566 from anywhere in Canada will leverage a state-of-the-art technology platform, using intelligent routing, to seamlessly connect you with a local crisis or distress centre 24/7, 365 days of the year.

This Canadian suicide hotline toll-free number is able to fill in the gaps for areas where there are no local resources by finding the closest crisis center to direct the call to, and in cases where local demand is high, the tech is able to direct calls to other provincial or national resource centres that are able to take the call right away.  This means there will be less waiting for people experiencing crisis.

Talk, Text, Chat

Part of the Canadian National Suicide Prevention Service is that it is also a multi-media pilot project, so not only can a person reach out through calling the Canada suicide hotline, they can also connect to the same resources by text messaging and online chat.  Texting to 45645 will connect you to a compassionate responder who will be able to provide suicide crisis support and resources unique to a person’s needs and community.  Visiting http://www.crisisservicescanada.ca will give a person the option of chatting with one of these people online. The text and chat services are only available between 5:00pm – 1:00am eastern time at this point in the project.

Not only does this Canada suicide hotline provide immediate crisis help, they also provide resources to help with ongoing and complementary support to anyone affected by suicide; whether you are someone in crisis needing immediate assistance for yourself, or if you are seeking to support someone you know who is having thoughts of suicide, or if you are journeying through the loss of someone who has died by suicide, the Canadian National Suicide Prevention Service is there for you 24/7 - 365.

Help Get the Word Out!

So, spread the word. 1-833-456-4566. Text 45645.  You never know whose life it could save today. And remember, it isn’t only a suicide hotline that can help to save someone’s life – suicide can be prevented when we let each other know that someone cares.  That, although it may feel impossible, no one is ever alone. You matter. You are not alone.

“I want you to be alive - you don’t gotta die today - now let me tell you why…” – Logic (1-800-273-8255)

Watch the Logic ft Alessia Cara and Khalid powerful VMA performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ju6Q8Azcmg

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/25/health/logic-suicide-hotline-vma-18002738255/index.html

http://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/about-us/news-and-stories/crisis-services-canada-launches-canada-suicide-prevention-service/

CSP/CSPS Public Fact Sheet available by download under Resources, Media Kit: http://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/about-us/news-and-stories/

Photo by Marjan Grabowski on Unsplash

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