Suicide prevention hotline gets last minute rescue from health department

The Minnesota Department of Health will provide temporary funding to maintain the state’s suicide prevention hotline that was expected to close.

The department will provide $139,000 to keep the Minnesota site for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline open until at least September 29. Earlier this Monday, Canvas Health, the Oakdale-based nonprofit that operates the hotline, announced it would be forced to close the service on Friday due to financial losses and lack of state funding.

“With Minnesota facing historically high suicide rates and an opioid addiction epidemic, we were concerned about losing this life-saving resource that serves tens of thousands of Minnesotans every year,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger said in a statement. “This is not a permanent fix, but it will keep the suicide prevention line open for people in crisis and provide time to find a lasting solution.”

MDH says it is working with other state and federal agencies and nonprofits to find a long-term funding solution.
If you are in a crisis, call 1-800-273-8255 for the Minnesota National Suicide Prevention Hotline.