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CMHA HKPR Announces Launch of New Suicide Crisis Helpline and Changes in Structure of Crisis Services
Nov 20, 2023
The Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (CMHA HKPR) announced today in a media conference in Peterborough that they will be a local provider for the new 9-8-8 National Suicide Crisis Helpline launching on November 30th. The organization also announced changes to their crisis services as they move to an Integrated Crisis Intervention Services Model.
“We are thrilled to announce that we have been selected as one of nearly 45 national providers for the new 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline, which will launch on November 30th, 2023,” says Mark Graham, Chief Executive Officer with CMHA HKPR.
9-8-8 is a new national helpline for anyone across Canada thinking of suicide, or who is worried about someone they know. 9-8-8 responders are ready to listen and provide confidential support without judgement. Starting November 30th, individuals can call or text 9-8-8 for support available 24/7.
CMHA HKPR’s Four County Crisis, widely known as ‘4CC’, will be rebranded and grow into the Integrated Crisis Intervention Services Model. Individuals who are experiencing thoughts of suicide or emotional distress, or who are worried about someone they know, can now call 9-8-8 instead of Four County Crisis.
9-8-8 is a national helpline, but individuals calling from a local area code in Peterborough, Haliburton, Northumberland, or Kawartha Lakes, will be routed to local call takers at the CMHA HKPR call center in downtown Peterborough.
CMHA HKPR’s Four County Crisis line will become the direct line for their Safe Beds program and after-hours housing support. If individuals call the line (705-745-6484) in crisis, they will receive a message to hang up and call 9-8-8. CMHA HKPR does not anticipate a disruption in services to the region.
“Through our strategic planning process, we learned that our community, clients, and staff were all looking for an easier to navigate crisis system with the opportunity for more meaningful connections,” says Graham. “With the launch of the new helpline, we will also be restructuring our current crisis services to provide easier to navigate, streamlined crisis support to individuals in Peterborough and County, Northumberland, Kawartha Lakes, and Haliburton.”
CMHA HKPR’s new Integrated Crisis Intervention Services Model will include adding an additional 8 Brief Services Mental Health Workers who will be distributed across the four counties. The new model also includes moving the Safe Beds facility from a residential neighborhood to downtown Peterborough and increasing bed capacity at Safe Beds with an opportunity for transitional housing.
Starting November 30th, individuals experiencing thoughts of suicide or emotional distress should call 9-8-8 for free, confidential support available 24/7. The helpline is also available to those who are worried about someone they may know.
Individuals who are looking to access Safe Beds can call 705-745-6484. Community partners can send referrals for Safe Beds to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communications and Community Relations Specialist