Minnesota has opened four new call centers for suicide and mental health support, officials announced Wednesday.
The call centers are part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network, which is comprised of more than 160 centers nationwide. The last Minnesota-based call center affiliated with the network, Crisis Connection, closed in 2018 due to insufficient funds.
However, in 2019 the state Legislature allocated $1.2 million for the new call centers, which will now operate out of Carver County, Greater Twin Cities United Way, First Link and First Call for Help.
Calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are routed to a call center closest to the caller's phone number. If there isn't a call center nearby, it gets forwarded to a national center.
“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 Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said in a statement.
The phone number for the free lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's website also has an option to chat online, as well as additional phone numbers for specialized needs.
The lifeline isn't restricted to people currently feeling suicidal.
"No matter what problems you’re dealing with, whether or not you’re thinking about suicide, if you need someone to lean on for emotional support, call the Lifeline," the website reads.
"People call to talk about lots of things: substance abuse, economic worries, relationships, sexual identity, getting over abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and loneliness, to name a few."