Serving better with Canada’s crisis & distress lines


Ottawa – Distress and crisis centres are an integral part of Canada’s public health approach to suicide prevention. They provide immediate support and resources when people need them the most.

Ya’ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced over $4.5 million for 26 organizations who provide distress line services to help them build capacity to meet the diverse needs of Canadians. These organizations represent the newest round of recipients under the $8 million Distress Line Equity Fund, which seeks to address gaps in equity, diversity and inclusion within Canada’s distress line sector.

This initiative to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion in our distress line sector is an important complement to the 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline. Anyone in Canada can call or text 9-8-8 to access 24/7/365, bilingual, trauma-informed, and culturally appropriate suicide prevention and emotional distress support.

In addition, to further improve access to mental health supports for equity-deserving individuals, Budget 2024 proposes an additional $4 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, to support community-led initiatives through the Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund. This fund aims to increase health equity and address mental health and its determinants for Black Canadians.

It is essential that everyone in Canada has access to mental health resources when they need them the most, regardless of their culture, social or economic status.

“When people have access to the supports they need, when they need it most, we can save lives. The funding announced is part of our effort to ensure that mental health supports and resources are developed and delivered in an equitable and inclusive manner. Every person in Canada deserves mental health support that respects their culture, background and experiences. We want people to know, if they need help, that they are not alone and help is available.” – Ya’ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health