Contemplating Suicide? Call this number. Oh, wait, maybe you can’t.

The number is (800) 273-8255.

(That is the national number. In Minnesota, you can also call: 612-379-6363.)

Everywhere in the US, I’m pretty sure, there is a crisis hotline someone can call if they feel totally desperate, perhaps ready to commit suicide. There is a national number but this number typically goes to a more local entity. In Minnesota, if you call the National Suicide Prefention Lifeline, the phone is answered by Minnesota’s own “Crisis Connection.”

Or, at least, it is now. But funding is running out. The Republican Legislature of our state has seen fit to leave funding for this important program out of their plans over the last year or two, so Crisis Connection is about to close down. This is the second or third time this has happened recently.

If you are a Minnesota Person, please call Representative Kelly Fenton (651-296-1147 Email: rep.kelly.fenton@house.mn) and Senator Karin Housley (651-296-4351 E-mail: sen.karin.housley@senate.mn), Republican leaders in charge of the committees in which a funding bill for Crisis Connection is now stuck.

The bills are House HF501, Senate SF776.

Here’s today’s quiz.

1) What percentage of suicides occur in less than 10 minutes after considering carrying out the act?

2) What percentage of suicidal individuals who get past an attempt or consideration of a suicide, and get help, ultimately survive?

We can discuss the answers to these questions in the comments, but I can tell you this. The numbers change dramatically when there is a suicide prevention hotline available.

• Without state funding, Crisis Connection will close, and phone calls will go unanswered or will be redirected to already overloaded law enforcement and hospital emergency rooms.

• Crisis Connection’s services are free, confidential, and easily accessible to all Minnesotans.

• Trained counselors triage, stabilize, and assist callers in reaching a place of emotional and physical safety 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

• All Minnesota calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are answered by Crisis Connection.

• All crisis counselors are certified in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training).

• Since 1969, the Crisis Connection phone numbers have been a part of the culture of crisis support in the state, with calls coming from individuals, families, first responders, United Way 211, and 911 call operators. Since its inception, Crisis Connection has operated with no consistent revenue stream.

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6 thoughts on “Contemplating Suicide? Call this number. Oh, wait, maybe you can’t.

  1. The Republican Legislature of our state has seen fit to leave funding for this important program out of their plans over the last year or two…

    Is the reason simple political stupidity or the modern Republican view that programs like this (things that help the public) are a waste of their money?

    1. I actually am not sure. This is something that has happened twice now in a row with this particular legislature. The total amount of money needed is about 1.5 million. First time around they just said no, this time the bill is for much less (but hopefully they will get other private funding) and there is still a delay. I think they just assume their own kids and relatives don’t need this for some reason, so why give it to anyone else?

  2. I have concluded that it is a common American belief and a particular belief of the modern Republican party that anything that doesn’t make money (for them directly or for their corporate masters) is a problem to be solved by either (1) eliminating it or (2) turning it over to some person or entity who will run it as a profit-making business. We’ve seen that with prisons in some places and, of course, televangelism has made millionaires out of people who talk a lot about Jesus but seem to have missed part of the message.

    1. My maternal grandparents were married for 77 years (both died in their early 100s). I can remember visiting when they were in their late 80s watching the Tigers: my grandmother had a scorebook and kept score at home for every game.

      She also had a huge thing for Billy Graham’s televised tent revival shows — it infuriated everyone, but….

      Every time I was there when one of those were on my grandfather and I were banished to the kitchen so she could her old con man Graham. He and I would sit and talk, he’d cut up different cheeses and we’d eat. At some time he would say, without fail,

      Yeah, that Billy Graham is just like the missionaries who went to Hawaii in the 1800s. They said they were going to do good but they really just did well.

      Always tossed it out, always loud enough to get a rise from my grandmother. I guess when you’re married as long as they were that’s one of the perks you get to have: one key way to annoy the other person.

  3. “.. .one of the perks you get to have: one key way to annoy the other person.”

    Reminds me of something i heard a while back.
    Parents know how to push the buttons of adult children because they sewed them on!

  4. Why the fuck would a call be tranferred to cops or a hospital instead of another hotline staffed by pros in a different state?
    Why is it decentralized at all?
    Local knowledge about say, Minnesota, can be found in a call center in Alaska in about 5 seconds.
    Time zones dont matter cuz its a 24 hour service anyway.
    No major regional language issues like in India. And one assumes interpreter service is available as well.
    If its all centralized, then theres no localized funding issues.
    What fuckwit designed this system, when its of such importance?
    Does yank poisons information work in the same arcane way?
    Christ yanks fuck about alot.
    Pool resources. Have a contigincy fund to last a couple years. If some state cant pay into the common kitty for some stupid reason, other states can cover for a bit.
    California is such a fucking huge economy im sure they could lay on a national service and not even ask for other states to chip in, letting them spend the money instead on fireworks displays or somesuch crap that never wants for funding anyway.

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