Government of Canada Announces Richmond-based 9-8-8 Network partner

PR Newswire
Monday, November 20, 2023 at 11:12pm UTC

Government of Canada Announces Richmond-based 9-8-8 Network partner

Canada NewsWire

Chimo Community Services will provide suicide crisis support as part of the 9-8-8 network

RICHMOND, BC, Nov. 20, 2023 /CNW/ - Every day, 12 people die by suicide in Canada. Each life lost by suicide can have far-reaching effects, whether that's families grappling with the loss of a loved one or the ripple effects that are felt within their communities. Suicide is a serious public health issue that impacts people of all ages and backgrounds across the country. The Government of Canada is taking steps to help ensure that everyone in Canada has access to suicide prevention resources and other crisis supports—whenever and wherever they need them. 

In July, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $156 million over three years to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) for the implementation and operation of 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline, building on their experience delivering Talk Suicide Canada. 

Today, the Honourable Ya'ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction and Associate Minister of Health, announced that Chimo Community Services has signed a service agreement with CAMH and will join the 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline network. Chimo is a registered not for profit organization serving people through community building, counselling and individual crisis support, legal advocacy, housing support and education in Richmond, BC.

As of November 30, 2023, 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline will be available in English and French, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, to everyone in Canada. The 9-8-8 service will offer trauma-informed and culturally appropriate suicide prevention services and will be delivered by trained crisis responders using best practices, procedures and protocols. Implementation and delivery of the 9-8-8 service will continue to be informed by ongoing engagement with provinces and territories, and organizations representing populations most affected by suicide. 

By joining the 9-8-8 network, partners will continue to provide support to their communities, both through their existing crisis services and by taking calls and texts from 9-8-8. When someone reaches out to 9-8-8, wherever possible, they will be connected to the responder that is closest to them, based on their area code. A robust national Hub will provide additional capacity, taking calls and texts when a local responder is not available.

While work is underway to implement 9-8-8, people in Canada continue to have access to Talk Suicide Canada, which offers bilingual crisis and suicide prevention support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Talk Suicide can be reached at 1-833-456-4566 by phone, and by text (in the evenings) at 45645. Residents of Quebec can call 1-866-277-3553, text 535353, or visit for support by online chat. People in Canada can also find support from their local crisis or distress lines.  


"Suicide can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, gender or background. To ensure people in Canada have access to suicide crisis support wherever and whenever they need, we're partnering with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to implement a national 9-8-8 number for suicide prevention across the country. I am pleased to announce Chimo Community Services as one of the many crises and distress centres across the country who will provide confidential and judgment-free suicide prevention support for the people in their community. Knowing your community matters, especially when it comes to helping someone in crisis."

The Honourable Ya'ara Saks
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health 

"Mental health is health, to combat mental illness and suicide, we must create a supportive community to help those struggling with mental health and addictions. This involves creating resources such as the 9-8-8 suicide crisis helpline and partnering with organizations such as the Chimo Community Services. I am proud to represent a community that will provide an effective way to help people in need of mental health and addiction support."

Wilson Miao
Member of Parliament for Richmond Centre

"When people are experiencing a crisis, don't know where to turn for people or just want to talk to someone, they need to be met with compassionate and informed care. As a partner in the 9-8-8 network, Chimo will provide a vital service to people in British Columbia, help them through crises and connect them to the ongoing supports they need, when they need them."

The Honourable Jennifer Whiteside
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions for British Columbia

"We are so pleased that Chimo Community Services is bringing their considerable experience and expertise to 9-8-8. Support close to home is one of the key values underpinning 9-8-8 and partners like Chimo Community Services will play a critical role in the service locally and provincially. Because of them, people who reach out to 9-8-8 will be able to connect to a responder who understands the issues that may be impacting their lives. We're so grateful for their commitment and collaboration to this vital service."

Dr. Allison Crawford
Chief Medical Officer, 9-8-8 and Talk Suicide Canada and Psychiatrist, CAMH

"Suicide does not discriminate; it affects people of all ages and backgrounds across Canada. Statistics reveal a staggering average of 4500 lives lost to suicide each year, amounting to approximately 12 people per day. These are only the reported numbers. Behind these numbers are families shattered, communities impacted, and a collective responsibility to address this crisis. As a partner in the 9-8-8 initiative, Chimo Community Services proudly stands alongside more than 40 other crisis lines spread across Canada to ensure that every call is answered by skilled, compassionate, and knowledgeable Crisis Responders. 988 is more than just a phone call- it is a lifeline in moments of darkness."

Slinder Bhatti
Executive Director, Chimo Community Services

Quick Facts
  • Budget 2023 announced $158.4 million over 3 years to support the implementation and operation of 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline.
  • The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) will lead the coordination of the service delivery of 9-8-8, building on its experience delivering Talk Suicide Canada.
  • CAMH is the largest mental health teaching hospital in Canada and one of the world's leading research centres in its field.
  • If an individual is interested in becoming a responder, they can visit the Talk Suicide Canada website at Volunteer with Talk Suicide Canada or Work with Talk Suicide Canada.
Associated Links

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada