Approximately 11 people in Canada die by suicide every day. Launched on November 28th, 2018, the Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS) became the first organization to offer a nationally available, regionally delivered service to anyone thinking about or affected by suicide. Support is available 24/7 through a single toll-free number (1-833-456-4566), and via text (45645) during peak afternoon and evening hours (4pm-midnight ET).
In its first year of service, CSPS has provided support to over 8500 people. Many of those reaching out were experiencing some form of suicidal ideation. Some were concerned about a friend or relative, some had lost someone to suicide, others were seeking information or resources.
Whatever the reason, trained responders at crisis centres across Canada were ready to provide the support they needed. Of the many support and crisis interactions we received, over 70% of service users stated directly or implied an increase in their ability to cope as a result of the crisis support provided by CSPS.
The support the crisis responders provide comes at a critical time and is invaluable. According to one anonymous service user, “I just want to thank you for what you’ve done for me this evening. It’s at least a step in a positive direction where I kind of feel like my life might actually be something worth preserving.”
The trained crisis responders’ goal is to be collaborative with those who reach out, talk openly about suicide, create plans to stay safe and, when necessary to ensure the immediate safety of someone at risk, reach out to emergency resources. In over 200 interactions, CSPS had to initiate an active rescue to ensure the safety of someone at risk.
Another anonymous caller states, “The Crisis Line saved my life the other day and I am very grateful. I had a break down and attempted suicide last Monday and I didn’t remember anything until Wednesday. The last thing I remember is that I called the Crisis Line and I was taken to the hospital. I then got the help that I needed, thank you.”
One of the greatest challenges of the last 12 months has been meeting the demand of those reaching out for support. The volume of requests is a testament to the need for this service, and CSPS is working hard to build capacity to meet that need.
To meet the need for this growing service, CSPS needs your help. It is through your donations, large and small, that CSPS is able to ensure that when someone reaches out for help, a trained crisis responder is available to provide emotional support, risk assessment, resources, and if needed, intervention that could save a life.
Anyone wishing to donate can do so easily by following this link to the CSPS website: https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/enhttps://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/donate/
Demand for support is certain to grow in the coming months, and CSPS asks for your continued support as we work to expand service hours of operation, ensuring that no matter when someone reaches out for help, we are there to listen and support.
If you or someone you care about needs assistance or help related to suicide, call us 24/7 at 1-833-456-4566, or text 45645 between 4pm-12am ET daily.