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FOX Leader receives CATA Alliance 2018 Public Sector Leadership Innovation Award as Founding CEO of

CATA Alliance 2018 award winner for Public Service Leadership Innovation Award – Crisis Services Canada Founding CEO and CTO Roberta J. Fox-Lawson and her acceptance speech announces very proud to bring the best of Canadian innovation to help save lives of the people of Canada!

Crisis Services Canada (CSC), a national network of local and regional crisis and distress centres, announced that their founding and Interim CEO/CTO Roberta J. Fox was selected by CATA for the 2018 winner of the Wilfred Laurier University Public Sector Leadership Award in Advanced Technology.

The award was presented at the 33rd Annual CATA Innovation Leadership Gala on Tuesday May15th at Carleton University in Ottawa.

About the Award

This award recognized Roberta as an Outstanding Leader in Innovation and Public Sector Transformation for her work in designing and leading the virtual multi-media contact centre technology solution for the newly launched Canadian Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS).

The Service – First national suicide prevention and support service in voice, text and chat

This made-in-Canada, first of its kind in the world suicide prevention and support service is available free from anywhere in Canada via voice, text and chat to individuals who are in crisis, considering suicide or affected by suicide.

Roberta J. Fox, Chair and Chief Innovation Officer of FOX GROUP Technology was retained as the Chief Technology Officer to design and deploy the solution for CSC.Her and her team designed the solution and led the planning, coordination, delivery and launch of the new suicide prevention service in collaboration with their primary vendors Genesys, Rogers, iCarol, Impact Mobile and QuovimC3.

The CSPS business project team consisted of over 100 dedicated volunteers including the national Crisis Services Canada (CSC) board of directors, pilot site distress centre members, plus an additional 750 volunteer responders in addition to the vendors noted below.

The external vendor project team members consisted of 143 business, marketing and technology professionals from Altitude Communications, Ariel Communications, CA Cloud, Communications Connection, Gazl Communications, GoToMeeting, HappyFox, Instatel, Intraworks IT Management, LAN Solutions, Microsoft, ModGraphics, Northern 911, Transcend IT Solutions, ZGM and FOX GROUP.

“I am excited to have been recognized for this award, as the solution we developed really is a “Made-in-Canada” success story!!!….It highlights the traits of the people of Canada…Collaboration, dedication, commitment, culture and business transformation to enable conversations about suicide and save lives… enabled by technology innovation!”, Roberta J. Fox, Founding and Interim CEO & CTO, CSC.

The virtual contact centre technology solution provides the first national multimedia contact centre, providing advanced routing, tracking and reporting to CSC members and various stakeholders.

This innovative world-leading solution went live on November 28th, 2017, was on-time and on-budget, and saved an eleven year old girl in Toronto via chat with a Calgary based responder on its first night of operation.

"This was one of the best Galas yet! There was such a positive buzz in the room, a mix of competitive spirit and camaraderie supporting the best in Canadian innovation," says John Reid, President and CEO, CATAAlliance.

"Our Award winners have each demonstrated significant leadership, serving as role models for the development of successful Canadian organizations. We are proud to act as an advocate for them, to share their stories, and to provide a platform of programs and services to assist in fostering their growth," says John Reid, CATA President.

Human Impact of Technology Innovation:

  • Since the November 2017 launch, over 10,000 people have contacted CSPS for suicide support.

  • The trained responders have assisted in 117 active rescues from people of all ages coast to coast to coast! They even had one Canadian life saved with support from a person contacting CSPS from outside of Canada, while playing Internet video games

  • 68% of the people contacting CSPS have chosen text and chat as their preferred choice of communications

  • The initial pilot results highlight that innovation can not only successfully provide distress and suicide support, but Helplines like CSPS are also the lowest cost method, providing significant health care cost savings!!!

Available nationally and delivered regionally, this new outstanding technology development has fulfilled the dream of the founding CSC members, federal government funders Public Health Agency of Canada and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Canada Suicide Prevention Services, a division of Crisis Services Canada Inc., evolved out of the Canadian Distress Line Network (CDLN), a pan-national network of existing distress, crisis and suicide prevention services that has been engaging members since 2002 in multiple sites across the country.

In recent years, the network has formalized its organizational structure with a focus on strengthening regional service delivery and ensuring that nation-wide gaps in service are addressed. In 2017, the organization incorporated under the name Crisis Services Canada (CSC) and launched the Canadian Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS) to provide voice, text and chat suicide prevention and support to the people of Canada.


Crisis Service Canada - Roberta Fox, Founding CEO/CTO, 289.648.1981.

CATA – John Reid, CEO CATA,

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