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988 suicide prevention hotline a year away

People in need of help urged to call 1-866-456-4566 in the meantime

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty is reminding people in stress that while it will be a year before the 988 national suicide prevention hotline is up and running, there is still a number they can dial.

“For Canadians in need of support, the Talk Suicide Hotline is available 24/7 by calling 1-866-456-4566," Doherty said in a statement issued Thursday.

Doherty's quest to get the three-digit 988 version in place won approval from the Canadian Radio-televison and Telecommunciations Commission in August, but it won't be ready to take calls until November 30, 2023. 

Doherty said he's received many queries since then about when the service will be ready.

"Suicide impacts us all. The holiday season can be very stressful for people, and I encourage anyone who is struggling to reach out to the resources available," Doherty said.

"Check on your family, check on your neighbours. Let’s work together to ensure that when someone is struggling, we do everything in our power to remove the barriers so that they can seek and get the help they need.

“988 will save lives; we just have to wait a bit longer”.