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Significant Response to 9-8-8 Crisis Line in Thames Valley During Inaugural Months

Canadian Mental Health Association Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services (CMHA TVAMHS) is a partner provider to 9-8-8 and has recorded 1,825 calls and texts to the 9-8-8 crisis line since its launch, underscoring the pressing demand for mental health and addiction resources within our community. As a dedicated advocate for mental health and well-being, our team remains committed to actively participating in the development and delivery of innovative solutions to address the needs of individuals seeking support.

“Approximately 12 lives are lost to suicide in Canada every day, on average,” says Pam Tobin, CEO. “When the national three-digit helpline, 9-8-8, was introduced, it became a top priority for our team to contribute and provide localized support to individuals in crisis within our surrounding community.”

Since its launch on November 30, 2023, individuals across Canada can contact 9-8-8 via call or text if they are contemplating suicide or are concerned about someone else. The national suicide prevention helpline is operated by local trained responders, ensuring proximity and familiarity. CMHA TVAMHS is one of approximately 40 partners nationwide answering the 9-8-8 crisis line.

9-8-8 provides:

“Our staff possesses extensive experience and expertise in mental health and addiction services, covering in-person and telephone support, mobile crisis engagement, emergency department diversion, and related services,” says Lori Griffith, Director of Crisis Services, “With a longstanding history as a community leader in crisis response, our organization is dedicated to delivering life-saving support through established and emerging methods.”

9-8-8 also serves as a notable enhancement to Reach Out, CMHA TVAMHS’ existing mental health and addiction crisis line. During the same period, Reach Out responded to 6,194 calls, texts, and web chat messages.

Reach Out is a 24/7 bilingual information and referral, support and crisis service for those living in the City of London, Middlesex, Oxford and Elgin Counties. It launched in August 2016. Trained mental health and addiction workers provide system navigation, supportive listening, and crisis services.

Leveraging the skills of its staff, CMHA TVAMHS ensures seamless collaboration between 9-8-8 and existing Reach Out services. The organization is excited about the prospect of enhancing its 24/7 crisis line, enabling staff to connect with even more individuals in immediate need of support. The establishment of Reach Out was motivated by the organization’s commitment to offering timely, seamless access to appropriate services for individuals with mental health and addiction needs.

About 9-8-8

CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services is a proud partner in 9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Helpline.

9-8-8 is a new national helpline for anyone across Canada who is thinking about suicide, or who is worried about someone they know. Call or text 9-8-8 toll-free, anytime for support in English and French. 9-8-8 responders are here to listen and provide help without judgement.

To learn more about 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline, visit

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