Considerations for implementing a three-digit suicide prevention number in Canada: Policy brief
Mental Health Commission of Canada
The purpose of this policy brief is to outline considerations for implementing a three-digit suicide prevention number in Canada. It reviews several relevant international contexts; specifically, the implementation of a three-digit suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline (988) in the United States (U.S.) and the recently approved 113 number in the Netherlands. In addition, it provides findings from a short survey of people living in Canada on the potential benefits and challenges of a three-digit number, the expectations on how the system would work, and the use of a three-digit number (versus the 11-digit number currently in use by the Canada Suicide Prevention Service [CSPS]). The brief is based on the survey, informal interviews, and a scan of academic and grey literature by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). The considerations it explores include the accessibility and visibility of the service, the capacity of crisis centres, training and staffing standardization, funding and operating costs, and the three-digit number selection.