Minnesota mental health helpline shuts down this Friday

The service has run out of funding.

A mental health helpline that provided assistance to thousands of Minnesotans is closing down this week.

Canvas Health Community is shutting down Crisis Connection as of Friday, with the organization telling MPR News financial losses and a lack of funding to pay counselors has brought the curtain down on a service that has been running for 50 years.

People who call into the service from Friday will get a voicemail message, while calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that Canvas also runs in Minnesota will be routed elsewhere, MPR notes.

Crisis Connection is a call center that connects people with qualified mental health counselors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year either via phone or text.

MPR says the service took about 50,000 calls last year and has so far this year received about 20,000 calls. The suicide prevention lifeline meanwhile has taken about 16,000 calls.

The service needs around $300,000 to stay operational, KSTP reports, and from Friday, unless a financial donor can be found, callers will hear this message: "This number is no longer in service, please hang up and dial 911."

Mental health in Minnesota

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Behavioral Health Barometer for 2015 found that around 185,000 adults had a serious mental illness in the years 2013-14, while 47,000 adolescents had a major depressive episode during that same time.

Some 173,000 adults in 2013-14 said they had harbored serious thoughts of suicide within the 12 months before they were surveyed.

While Crisis Connection is closing, there are other support services available. You can find links via the National Alliance On Mental Illness – Minnesota website here.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services also has information on mental health resources here.

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