Crisis Text Line now offering services statewide
The Minnesota Department of Human Services announced today that as of April 1, Crisis Text Line is offering Text-based suicide prevention services across Minnesota. People who text MN to 741741 will be connected with a counselor who will help defuse the crisis and connect the texter to local resources. Crisis Text Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In Minnesota and across the nation, text message suicide response services have been successful in helping people in need. Texting is the preferred way to communicate for many people — especially youth — and it is important to reach people where they are at when they are contemplating suicide or in crisis.
Crisis Text Line, a non-profit that has offered this service nationally since 2013, will be the state’s sole provider for this service. Crisis Text Line handles 50,000 messages per month and over 20 million messages since 2013 from across the U.S., connecting people to local resources in their community. For callers who are the most distress, average response time is only 39 seconds.
Crisis Counselors at Crisis Text Line are dedicated, trained and supervised volunteers from around the United States. Crisis Counselors undergo a rigorous application process before undergoing 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.
Crisis Text Line will be able to offer suicide prevention and education efforts in all Minnesota counties and Tribal nations, including, for the first time, the Twin Cities metro area. Minnesota has had text suicide prevention services since 2011, but limited funding has meant that it was only available in 54 of 87 counties plus Tribal nations.
A critical ingredient for Minnesota’s old text crisis service is local coordination. Local coordination includes:
- Creating awareness of how to access Crisis Text Line.
- Maintaining local resources in the 211 national database for Crisis text line to access in order to help connect individuals with trained crisis counselors and access local resources.
- Increasing knowledge and awareness of the warning signs for suicide and of how to connect individuals in crisis with assistance and care.
- Promoting timely access to high-quality culturally-appropriate services for persons at heightened risk for suicide.
- Partnering with local mental health facilities, medical providers, school counselors, juvenile justice, probation officers and county providers to provide trainings and information.
In the past, the state pays $1.125 million to support 54 out of 87 counties with both text message suicide response services and local coordination. Crisis Text Line, funded through grants and donations, will be providing the text message service at no cost, saving the state money. These savings will be used to expand community suicide prevention and local coordination statewide.
For more information https://mn.gov/dhs/crisis/
Information for partners and providers on how to help promote Crisis Text Line