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National suicide and crisis lifeline switches numbers

The national lifeline is where people can find “compassionate, accessible care and support” for anyone experiencing “mental health-related distress,” according to a county news release that stated over 39,000 Minnesotans contacted the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 2021.

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A woman uses her cellphone to contact others.
Photo illustration by Metro News Service
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BRAINERD — The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is coming to Minnesota.

The United States will transition to begin using the 988 dialing code.

Starting Saturday, July 16, the new three-digit number — to call (in multiple languages), text or chat (English only) — for the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will be 988.

The chat feature will be available through the lifeline’s website at https://988lifeline.org/chat . People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

Crow Wing County has been working with the Minnesota Department of Health, Department of Human Services and community organizations to provide guidance and resources to prepare for the transition to 988.

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The national lifeline is where people can find “compassionate, accessible care and support” for anyone experiencing “mental health-related distress,” according to a county news release that stated over 39,000 Minnesotans contacted the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 2021.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline began in 2005. A call to 988 will be answered by a regional call center that will be able to connect the caller to a local mobile crisis team if needed.

Crisis Line Resource and Referral began locally in 1988 and is available 24 hours, seven days a week by calling 1-800-462-5525. Providing service to Aitkin, Cass and Crow Wing counties, the Crisis Line and Referral Services receives an estimated 400 calls a year.

In Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties, Crisis Text Line is available 24/7 by texting MN to 741741. For those with mental health issues but who aren’t experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency, the warmline at 1-844-739-6369 is available from 5 p.m.-9 a.m. daily.

Suicide was the second-leading cause of death for Minnesotans ages 10 to 34 in 2020, and 758 Minnesotans died by suicide in 2020, according to the news release.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

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