Calls for Suicide Help to CSPS Outstrip Expectations

CSC Staff – August 2018

Launched on November 28, 2017, the Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS) pilot program has been providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention support via voice, chat and text, to people in need across Canada. Despite no active promotion, the demand for help has far exceeded all expectations and CSPS is urgently calling for funding to increase capacity to meet this demand and continue providing vital support.


  • 14,307 requests for support since launch.
  • Calls for help come from all ages, genders, provinces and territories of Canada.
  • 60% of help-seekers reach out via new media of text and chat.
  • 5% of men 25-64 choose chat/text to reach out…a high-risk group less likely to seek help.
  • Estimated Healthcare savings of over $24.9M has been achieved by 730 people not using emergency room/ police


  • CSPS responders supported 165 active rescues to secure the safety of someone at high-risk, 47 of which were a suicide in progress.
  • 70% of service users stated directly or implied an increase in their ability to cope from CSPS support.
  • Research indicates that for every suicide death, 115 people are affected. CSPS has positively impacted the lives of over 15,000 people who will not have to struggle with a loss to suicide.


Our current responders cannot meet the pilot program demand for the much-needed text and chat support. (The majority of the CSPS responders are unpaid trained volunteers).

We urgently need funding to enable us to grow capacity, expand hours and maintain this important voice, text and chat suicide prevention and support service.

Help us to help save lives!

For Further Information:

In English

Ms. Alison Caird is President of Crisis Services Canada, and Executive Director of the Toronto Distress Centres. She can be reached at .

Roberta Fox is the CTO and founding CEO of Crisis Services Canada.  She can be reached at or 289.648.1981.

In French

Charles Laframboise is the Executive Director of the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region. He can be reached at .

Lisa O’Blenis is the Executive Director of Chimo Helpline, New Brunswick. She can be reached at .

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