Minnesota's only suicide hotline awaiting funding

A veto could affect vital funding to keep the service going

Sloane Martin
May 23, 2018 - 5:46 am

The organization that operates a statewide suicide hotline has only a few weeks of funding left, unless Gov. Mark Dayton signs the budget bills sitting on his desk.

“We’re currently the only (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) provider in the state of Minnesota,” Canvas Health CEO Matt Eastman said.

Canvas Health staffs Crisis Connection which is a part of the NSPL. It needs nearly a $1 million to keep the service going.

“We’re taking, this year, a projected 55,000 phone calls a day from people in crisis,” he said. “Most of those folks don’t need to go to a hospital or emergency room or to have police intervention. We’re helping them to connect to other resources in their community, connecting them to the mobile crisis team.”

Eastman fears someone calling for help being routed to another state unfamiliar with Minnesota's resources -- or worse, calling a number that's no longer in service.