When You Can’t Wait for a Therapy Appointment, Call 988

I talk about mental health a lot because high-performing leaders constantly face the harsh realities of business and the curveballs of life. That puts them at higher risk for mental health issues, which makes wellness a must-have skill for success.

And, sooner or later, everyone struggles with their mental health.

So, I’m very happy to hear about the launch of a Canadian 988 suicide crisis helpline.

Anyone, of any age, can confidentially call or text, toll-free, 24/7 if they are thinking about suicide or are worried about someone else.

Led by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the service is designed to make it as simple as possible for people to get the help they need. The 988 hotline is built on and mirrors a similar 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline launched in the US 18 months ago.

No matter where in the world you are, you can always search for mental health help or a mental health hotline and there will be a resource available.

4500 Canadians die by suicide every year. (CAMH)

21% of U.S. adults experienced a mental health condition in 2020.

The impact depression and anxiety have on the global economy can be measured in $1 trillion in lost productivity each year.

Worldwide, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of anxiety and depressive disorders grow 28% and 25% respectively.


How 988 Works

    • People can call or text multiple times, depending on the support they need.
    • First, a brief recorded message plays to let you know you are in the right place, with options to choose for the best support needed.
    • A message about privacy follows, and a link to provide more optional information.
    • Then, an empathetic, specially trained responder is available to give immediate assistance and do a suicide risk assessment.
    • 911 is only contacted if there is an immediate or imminent risk of the person seriously harming themselves or someone else.

Most people wait way too long to get help. What they don’t understand is that most mental health issues are completely fixable, and with the right support, there are ways to cope and restore mental resilience.

Other Resources