Updated:
Original:

Minnesota's suicide crisis line won't shut down – yet

Last-minute funding will keep a mental health helpline going for awhile.

The night before Minnesota's mental health helpline was going to shut down, the state's Department of Health came up with enough money to keep it going for another couple months.

The department says it's using $139,000 in federal suicide prevention funds to keep Minnesota connected to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. That's enough money to last through September 29, the state says.

The temporary fix provides some time to find a longer-term solution for the financial problems that are closing Crisis Connection, which has been around for 50 years and is Minnesota's link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“With Minnesota facing historically high suicide rates and an opioid addiction epidemic, we were concerned about losing this life-saving resource that serves tens of thousands of Minnesotans every year,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger.

Keeps Minnesota in the national network

Canvas Health, the non-profit group that operates Crisis Connection, says it's been losing money and no longer has the funds to pay counselors. This week's announcement that they'd be shutting down Friday, led to tributes like this one on the Star Tribune's editorial page, from people who feel they owe their lives to Crisis Connection.

The Health Department says people in a mental health crisis should now call the national lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The temporary funding means that number will still be answered in Minnesota around the clock by counselors familiar with the state's resources.

If Crisis Connection can get back on solid financial footing (you can donate here), it could conceivably step back into its old role. Meanwhile, the Health Department says it's talking to non-profits, state and federal agencies, and other stakeholders about a long-term plan.

Next Up

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins saves the day again to get Vikings to .500

Cousins' overtime toss to K.J. Osborn earned a 34-28 victory.

Nurses on strike

Nurses start 3-day strike at Allina WestHealth in Plymouth

A "last attempt" at negotiations failed to produce an agreement last Wednesday.

boating minnesota lake

Minnesota has experienced its deadliest boating season since 2005

Minnesota has seen 17 boating-related deaths so far this year.

Drew Doughty

Kirill Kaprizov makes Kings’ Doughty eat his words

The Kings defenseman isn't a fan of the Wild star's new deal.

Quinn Olson / UMD Hockey

Watch: UMD's Olson goes between-the-legs to set up highlight goal

Another Saturday. Another highlight for a Minnesota college hockey team.

Gopher Hockey

Watch: No-call lifts Gophers to OT victory over St. Cloud State

A blatant hook marred a top-four battle in St. Cloud.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Driver killed after crashing into parked semi-trailer

The crash occurred on the 5800 block of University Avenue Northeast.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings-Panthers: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings will look to open things up in Carolina.

Related

Suicide hotline Crisis Connection to shut down at end of month

Hope for a lifeline of its own was ended when Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the supplementary budget bill.

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 10.04.32 PM

Number of suicides in Minnesota decreased in 2020

While the number dropped, 723 people still died by suicide last year.

Watch how a firefighter pulled a suicidal woman to safety

She was on a St. Paul bridge, getting ready to jump.

Feds find failures at Minneapolis VA over veteran's suicide

He took his own life 24 hours after being discharged from a mental health unit.

Figures show worrying rise of suicides in Minnesota

Suicides have increased 40 percent since 1999.

NSPL_Logo

MN opens four call centers linked to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network

The state previously had been without a local center since 2018.