How Technology Helps Save Lives
BrantTel Marketing Manager, Chris Deineka recently interviewed Crisis Services Canada Senior Management Technology Advisor in honour of the Bell Canada’s Let’s Talk campaign
Note to Readers: On January 31st, support Bell Let’s Talk - for every text message sent by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and Bell MTS customers, Bell will donate 5¢ towards mental health initiatives. Crisis Services Canada supports the goals of the Bell Let’s Talk program.
Background information about Canada Suicide Prevention Service and suicide in Canada
In 2017, Crisis Services Canada (CSC) was formally constituted and incorporated as a federal not-for-profit organization. From among its original Canadian Distress Line Network alliance members, a group of pilot members of distress and crisis centres from across Canada collaborated in the launch of the multi-media Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS) solution.
CSPS offers a nationally available, regionally delivered suicide prevention service to anyone thinking about or affected by suicide. Its services are available 24/7, via toll-free phone, text or chat at no charge to the people of Canada.
CSC is guided by several core goals and principles and the belief that partnerships among government departments, distress centres, mental health/healthcare providers and technology vendors are the key to success. Working together, we can offer assistance that improves the quality of service and outcomes for individuals in crisis, particularly those individuals who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Approximately 11 Canadians take their lives every day, (average of 4000 per year across all ages, locations or walks of life). It is estimated that each suicide affects 7 to 10 people, which means 40,000 people are newly affected each year in Canada, with an untold emotional and financial impact on Canada.
Working together with the new virtual contact centre solution, these organizations are dedicated to reducing the number of lives lost and affected by suicide in Canada. This is their steadfast mission.
In November 2016, the Public Health Agency of Canada provided foundational funding to develop a next-generation innovative solution that would bring these organizations together, under one technology umbrella, to manage the technology, practices and resources required. With a remarkably fast turnaround, the CSC voice, text and chat suicide prevention service was launched November 28th, 2017.
Since the launch, thousands of service users have contacted CSC and 62 active rescues have occurred, with hundreds more individuals in need receiving immediate crisis response and referrals to additional community resources. No matter where a service user was along the risk continuum, appropriate suicide management support was provided.
We spoke about this ambitious project with Roberta J. Fox, Chief Innovation Officer of FOX GROUP Technology, (foxgroup.ca), a leading Canadian Communications Technology Consulting firm who spearheaded and led the cross-functional business and technology team for this new national initiative.
During the podcast interview, we asked Roberta about her involvement in this project from a technology perspective, but more importantly, how the project landscape was created, and how the strategy came together from a business and technical perspective.
We hope that you find this incredible lifesaving application of next-generation voice, text and chat technology as inspiring as we did!
________________________________________________________________________________ The Podcast interview is available at:
BrantTel’s Marketing Manager, Chris Deineka Closing Comments:
Congratulations to Crisis Services Canada, and the dedicated team members from the pilot sites and other CSC distress centre members from across Canada that made this project come together.
We’re using this as a platform to promote Mental Health Awareness from the project side. You can bring together disparate technologies under one umbrella, and you can do it with a limited budget, and in this case, you did it to save lives.
We encourage all of you to support mental health in Canada, choose to support Bell Let’s Talk, and join the fight to end mental health stigmas and prevent suicide in Canada.
We urge all companies and Canadians to support these causes, regardless of business affiliation, race, age or politics. Let’s all put our corporate logos aside and support Bell Let’s Talk on January
The Team at BrantTel Networks, FOX GROUP and particularly the dedicated coast to coast team at Crisis Services Canada.