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New 9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Helpline

The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to be part of the new 9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Helpline. The new service launched today across Canada will help people who are thinking about suicide or worried about someone they know. 

Calls or texts to 9-8-8 will be directed to a mental health crisis or suicide prevention service, free of charge.

“While we have made progress toward talking openly about our mental health and suicide prevention, we know more can be done to make it easier for anyone who is struggling to get help,” Mental Health and Addictions Minister Tim McLeod said. “A three-digit number provides an easy access point for anyone in need of immediate mental health crisis support.”

The 9-8-8 service can be used by anyone in Canada, including children and youth. 

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is leading the national coordination of the 9-8-8 service. When someone reaches out to 9-8-8, they will be connected to the responder that is closest to them, based on their area code, whenever possible. All 9-8-8 responders are trained in suicide prevention and can provide trauma-informed and culturally appropriate support.

The local partners in this initiative include Mobile Crisis Services Regina, Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Unit and Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Service.

Implementing 9-8-8 also required technical assistance from SaskTel, as a telecommunications provider.

“In times of crisis or emergency, SaskTel recognizes how important it is to have quick access to care,” SaskTel President and CEO Charlene Gavel said. “We are proud to bring this lifesaving service to Saskatchewan to ensure that the people of our province can get help no matter where they live.”

In addition to 9-8-8, Saskatchewan has several provincial suicide prevention initiatives including: 

  • Roots of Hope community-led project that aims to reduce the impacts of suicide in the northern communities of  La Ronge, Meadow Lake and Buffalo Narrows;
  • suicide prevention public awareness campaigns;
  • launch of a provincial safe medication disposal program to reduce the risk of intentional overdose; 
  • media training on the challenges of reporting on mental health and suicide, sponsored by the Mental Health Commission of Canada; 
  • development of a rapid access counselling suicide loss support program; and 
  • free virtual suicide prevention training for non-clinicians, created by LivingWorks and offered through Canadian Mental Health Association-Saskatchewan. 

In addition to using 9-8-8, children and youth can also continue to contact Kids Help Phone, or text CONNECT to 686868 for help in a mental health crisis.

For more information about resources available on suicide prevention and mental health, visit

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