Mental Health Minister Carolyn Bennett says the government is putting $156 million over three years toward a new three-digit suicide-prevention hotline.

Starting on Nov. 30, people in crisis will be able to dial 988 anywhere in Canada to be connected with trained responders 24 hours a day by phone or text message.

The free service will be offered in English and French.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health will receive the money to launch and operate the hotline.

The minister is also giving the organization $21 million to bolster the capacity of distress centres as they prepare for the increased demand for services. 

Conservative MP Todd Doherty put forward a motion to establish a national suicide prevention hotline in December 2020, and the House of Commons passed it unanimously.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 24, 2023.