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SUICIDE PREVENTION TEXT SERVICES EXPAND STATEWIDE

April 3, 2018

SUICIDE PREVENTION TEXT SERVICES EXPAND STATEWIDE

Life-saving services will reach more people throughout Minnesota Minnesotans across the state can now access suicide prevention and mental health crisis texting services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As of April 1, 2018, people who text MN to 741741 will be connected with a trained counselor who will help defuse the crisis and connect the texter to local resources. The service helps people contemplating suicide and facing mental health issues.

Minnesota has had text suicide prevention services since 2011, but they have only been available in 54 of 87 counties, plus tribal nations. Crisis Text Line will offer suicide prevention and education efforts in all Minnesota counties and tribal nations, including, for the first time, the Twin Cities metro area.

“It’s important that we reach people where they are at, and text-based services such as Crisis Text Line are one vital way to do that,” said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Claire Wilson. “It’s especially crucial that we reach youth with these services, and we all know that texting has fast become a preferred way of communication.”

Crisis Text Line, a non-profit that has worked nationally since 2013, is the state’s sole provider for this service as of April 1. Crisis Text Line handles 50,000 messages per month — more than 20 million messages since 2013 — from across the country, connecting people to local resources in their communities. For callers who are in the most distress, the average wait time for a response is only 39 seconds.

Crisis counselors at Crisis Text Line undergo a six-week, 30-hour training program. Supervisors are mental health professionals with either master’s degrees or extensive experience in the field of suicide prevention.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 also provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources.

*Article originally published by Minnesota Department of Human Services. https://mn.gov/dhs/media/news/#/detail/appId/1/id/333964

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