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Make three-digit suicide prevention hotline accessible, CRTC told in consultations


A consultation by the telecommunications regulator has been told that a three-digit suicide prevention hotline should be accessible to people who are deaf or living with other disabilities.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has consulted on whether to create a three-digit helpline, allowing deaf people to contribute their views in sign language via video link.

Meanwhile, MPs are warning that continuing delays to the introduction of the hotline, which the consultation indicates has widespread support, is costing Canadian lives.

They claim the failure to act on a unanimous vote by MPs in December 2020 to take “immediate action” to introduce a 988 suicide helpline is having tragic consequences.

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Conservative MPs Todd Doherty and Mike Lake are increasing pressure on the federal ministers for health and mental health and addictions — who also support the hotline — to speed up its introduction as about 11 Canadians die by suicide every day.

The regulator says it does not yet have a timeline for a decision.

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