On July 16, 2020, the United States is implementing a 9-8-8 dialing code for mental health crisis and suicide prevention services. The rollout of a new three digit dialing code involves the co-ordination of all landline, VoIP, and wireless phone providers in order to allow this code to be implemented consistently across the entire country. There are also other regulatory and implementation details to be considered for a project of this size.

The FCC in the United States has been working on this project for a long time and are now ready to implement and will be making announcements and advertisements soon, if not already.

The CRTC did not find out about this until late in the project and as such, is still in the process of determining how and when Canada will also implement a 9-8-8 service. Since Canadians are likely to hear about the 9-8-8 service in the US, the CRTC has notified all telecommunications providers of the service and recommending all telephone service providers to add an announcement about 9-8-8 and direct callers to the Canada’s suicide prevention services.

Each provider is only required to provide a recorded greeting howeverCozzmic is going one step further and will implement call forwarding on 9-8-8 calls made on our system to direct those calls directly to the Canadian Suicide Prevention service. When the CRTC completes their analysis, it is possible the implementation will change, but at least we will provide some direction should one of our customers need these services.

If you need to get in touch with the Canadian Suicide Prevention service, you may call them directly at 1-833-456-4566.