Members of parliament have voted in favour of a motion calling on the government to establish a national three-digit suicide prevention hotline.
The MPs voted unanimously on December 11th to set up a national 988 number that would consolidate all of the current suicide hotlines, as reported by the CBC.
Conservative B.C. MP Todd Doherty pleaded with the House of Commons to support his motion and stated that “when minutes count, help should only be three digits away.”
Doherty stated that it is especially important to offer hope to those who need it in the middle of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We can leave a legacy of action by breaking the stigma associated with mental illness and mental injury and eliminating unnecessary barriers for Canadians who chose to seek help,” he stated.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu has supported the idea of a nationwide hotline and has said that she wants to work with Doherty to put the plan into action. The idea has also sparked support among mental health professionals, include those who work with the Canada Suicide Prevention Service.
It’s worth noting that the United States is currently in the process of creating a national 988 service, which is expected to be completed by 2022.
Image credit: Unsplash (Jason Hafso)
Source: CBC News