Minnesota Suicide Hotline Preparing to Shutdown

Budget shortfalls mean out-of-state counselors will field calls

Sloane Martin
June 07, 2018 - 6:20 am

Minnesota's suicide crisis hotline is preparing to shut down at the end of the month due to a financial shortfall.

For more than 50 years, Crisis Connection has linked callers to local mental health professionals and emergency first-responders. The planned shutdown follows a slow but steady increase in the statewide suicide rate in recent years, according to state and federal data.

Sue Abderholden with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Minnesota says there are national resources for people in distress, but soon nothing local.

“This is a loss, certainly, to our state, but we still have other options available," she said.  "It's going to take a while for everyone to take that phone number off of their voicemail, off of their website. It's on countless cards out in the community. That's my biggest worry, that at some point people will call there and there will be no one to tell them to go somewhere else."

The center needed nearly $1 million to stay afloat, but that money was eliminated after Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a broader budget bill last month amid disputes with Republican lawmakers.

Out-of-state counselors will field calls to the suicide prevention lifeline after the shutdown.

With the closure of the hotline, Minnesota will become just one of two states in the country that will not have a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline crisis center based locally.