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MP Van Popta and Township of Langley join forces to support National suicide hotline

9-8-8 would be a professional, free, 24/7 phone service for Canadians struggling with mental health
COVID-19 is taking a toll on mental health through social isolation, among other things. (Aldergrove Star files)

Langley MP Tako van Popta said he is pleased the Township of Langley mayor and council are advocating for an additional place for people looking for mental health support to go.

“9-8-8 would be a professional, free, and 24/7 phone service for Canadians struggling with mental health,” Van Popta explained.

On Dec. 11th, 2020, the House of Commons passed a motion introduced by Conservative MP Todd Doherty, through unanimous consent, to bring a national three-digit suicide prevention hotline line to Canada and asked that all municipalities across Canada to consider passing a similar motion;

“That, given that the alarming rate of suicide in Canada constitutes a national health crisis, the House call on the government to take immediate action, in collaboration with our provinces, to establish a national suicide prevention hotline that consolidates all suicide crisis numbers into one easy to remember three-digit (988) hot‐ line that is accessible to all Canadians.”

READ MORE: Langley politicians mark a year of COVID losses

To make 988 a reality, van Popta said mayors and councils, MLAs and MPs must continue to put pressure on the government and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

“COVID-19 has shown us mental health support for Canadians was not good enough, says Van Popta. “The legacy of COVID-19 will be improved mental health services and the 9-8-8 hotline is one small step in that direction.”

Township of Langley mayor Jack Froese added that strong mental health support systems are key elements for all communities to flourish and all citizens to thrive, which is why Council passed a motion of support for the 9-8-8 hotline.

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