Suicide Prevention Hotline Saved, For Now

Suicide Prevention Hotline Saved, For Now Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jul 14, 2017 at 7:25 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/KNSI) - The Minnesota Department of Health will provide temporary funding to maintain a suicide prevention hotline that was expected to shut down.

The department will provide $139,000 to keep the hotline open at least until September 29. The hotline is operated by the nonprofit Canvas Health of Oakdale. It announced earlier this month that it would be forced to close the call center Friday for financial reasons.

Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger says the hotline is used by tens of thousands of Minnesotans every year. He says the state can't afford to lose the hotline in light of an opioid addiction epidemic and historically high suicide rates.

The health department is talking with other nonprofits and state and federal agencies about a long term plan for a network of crisis lines for Minnesota.

In recent months police have responded to a couple of calls about suicidal people on area bridges. In three cases police were able to talk the people off the bridges.

On June 9th, police found a man who either jumped or fell from the Granite City Crossing Bridge in St. Cloud and died.

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