Gov. Tim Walz announced that Minnesota callers seeking support through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will now receive fast, localized support thanks to the opening of four new call centers in Minnesota.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a network of more than 160 call centers around the country. Callers are routed to a call center near them based on their phone number, but calls that are not answered by a local call center are usually routed to a national backup center. Minnesota callers will now receive local assistance thanks to $1.2 million in funding allocated to the program by the 2019 Minnesota Legislature.
“It is paramount that we prioritize the mental health needs of Minnesotans, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many unprecedented challenges. We know that this has been an incredibly difficult time for Minnesotans,” said Walz. “These four new call centers will ensure Minnesotans receive fast access to trained counselors locally. If you need help, please reach out. The Lifeline network is a free and confidential resource available 24/7 to everyone."
“Mental health is the cornerstone to everything in our lives, and receiving quick access to counselors who are local and in your community is sometimes the difference that we need to choose hope,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “If you or someone you know is in a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). No topic is off limits, and no concern is too small. There’s no shame in asking for support. If you are struggling, or are worried about a friend, there is help, and there is hope."
“We know the pandemic and other factors have made this a particularly challenging time for so many Minnesotans, and having new and local support of this kind if very timely,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “Through these new call centers, Minnesotans will now have access to trained phone counselors in Minnesota with the knowledge and awareness to connect callers with local help, supports, and services. Having local call centers will help people get quickly connected with a counselor when reaching out for help.”
Minnesota has been without a locally based National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center since spring 2018, when Minnesota’s only National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center shut down due to a lack of funding. In 2019, more than 32,000 calls from Minnesota were made to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The four new call centers in Minnesota are operated by:
- Carver County
- Greater Twin Cities United Way
- First Link
- First Call for Help
Each call center covers designated counties within Minnesota. Calls are routed to the call centers based on the first five digits of a caller’s phone number, making sure callers get the most localized support available.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline receives calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline is free to use and supports people who call for themselves or someone they care about. People call to talk about many topics, including substance use, economic worries, relationships, mental and physical illness, and more.
If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or a loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 for everyone and is free and confidential. Call 1-800-273-8255.