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Quinte Health joins new national 988 Suicide Crisis Helpline

Quinte Health hospitals in Picton, Trenton, Belleville and Bandcroft are partners in delivering the new national 9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Helpline.

Canada’s new three-digit suicide prevention helpline will take calls and texts – 24/7 – and provide support to people who are thinking about suicide, or those who are worried about someone they know.

“This is about providing immediate, confidential, and non-judgmental help and support to people in distress, potentially preventing suicide attempts and deaths,” said Dr. Colin MacPherson, Chief of Staff, Quinte Health. “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 the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH) leadership.”

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.

“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,” said Dr. Allison Crawford, a psychiatrist at the CAMH and Chief Medical Officer for 9-8-8. “We’re so grateful for Quinte Health’s commitment to this vital service.”

Quinte Health’s Crisis Intervention Centre (CIC) community mental health program will maintain services and the 9-8-8 team will be integrated with CIC to facilitate mentorship and referrals. The CIC team will accept referrals for counselling services to only those within Quinte Health service region.

9-8-8 aims to help prevent suicide by making it as simple as possible for people to get 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. Everyone who calls or texts will be offered a safe space to share and be heard.

People calling or texting 9-8-8 will connect with a responder who will listen, offer empathy, and provide support without judgement.

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.

9-8-8 is funded by the government of Canada, through the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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