9-8-8: Breaking the Silence

Feb 13, 2024

Written by: Emily Anderson

In a single day we can be overwhelmed with stress but also feel moments of calmness, anxiety while simultaneously being excited, and sadness yet also happiness. Our mental state can fluctuate day by day, week by week, month by month, and even year by year. While this distress can at times be debilitating, you have the power to conquer it. And you don’t have to do it alone.

Close shot of two friends holding hands

In 2022, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) adopted 9-8-8 as a national three-digit phone number for suicide prevention and emotional distress. Canada’s 988 suicide crisis helpline, launched on November 30. Thus, this new emergency hotline is accessible with Lakeland Networks’ Phone services. This is a safe-line for those who feel alone in times of mental health curves. The call center will answer 24/7, offering trauma-informed and culturally affirming support by trained professionals, to those who are considering suicide. If you or anyone you know is suffering from suicidal thoughts or mental health issues, please seek help.

In the face of increased demand for crisis services, 9-8-8 provides:

  • A number that’s easy to remember in a crisis situation.
  • Support in English and in French, by phone and text.
  • Quick access to support from trained responders, available 24/7/365.
  • High quality, evidence-based, equitable suicide prevention and crisis support for everyone in Canada.
Graphic for Suicide Crisis Helpline that reads "You deserve to be heard. We're here to listen."

The impact of a dedicated suicide 9-8-8 service is significant, as the service is easily accessible and contributes to a more comprehensive and empathetic approach in providing immediate support for diverse needs. Both English and French communicators are available by phone conversation or by text message, aiming to provide crisis support during moments of isolation. This service exists in hopes to be proactive in times of crisis, as well as to destigmatize suffering alone. Our values at Lakeland Networks align with this pact to promote seeking help in times of distress, we encourage everyone to think about your mental health and actively work towards maintaining a positive mental well-being, as well as educate yourself on the signs of poor mental health in others.

Two friends sitting on a bench looking out towards the water in front of them

Poor Mental Health Signs:

  • Appetite or sleep changes
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Unhealthy coping mechanisms
  • Unusual emotional outbursts
  • Hallucinations or delusions

Positive Mental Health Contributions:    

  • Go for a walk
  • Spend time with loved ones
  • Talk about your mental health
  • Learn to manage your triggers
  • Get enough sleep
Graphic saying "Call 9-8-8, Text 9-8-8"

According to Statistics Canada, 4,500 people in this country die by suicide every year — equivalent to 12 people taking their own lives every day. For every death by suicide, at least seven to 10 people either attempted suicide or grieved the loss of someone who took their own life.

It’s important to note that fluctuating states of mind don’t have to take hold of us, controlling our actions and abilities. Instead, we can learn to take control over our own mental states, together.


988 Suicide Crisis Helpline

CAMH (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Government of Canada

Different Brains, Inc

Statistics Canada