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Crisis hotlines intact in Arrowhead region

The headline in the Duluth News Tribune on Monday, April 2, shook Linda Curran enough for her to act. "Minnesota's only suicide hotline could close," read the headline atop a story on Page A2.

Curran called right away.

"It was a little alarming," said Curran, supervisor of adult mental health and adult protection for St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services. "I wanted to make sure our market knew what was out there."

The St. Paul Pioneer Press story published in the News Tribune referred to Crisis Connection, a Richfield, Minn.-based nonprofit agency that receives state calls routed from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. But it's not the "only" crisis hotline in the state as the errant headline indicated.

In fact, Curran described suicide prevention services in the Northland as "robust and nimble."

"We continue to work on them," she said, "but we've developed crisis response lines and mobile teams to meet the needs of the region."

Some time ago, even some of the local counties used to contract with the Crisis Connection center that was reported in Monday's story. But that has changed in recent years as Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties, along with the Lake Superior Chippewa bands of Bois Forte, Fond du Lac and Grand Portage, have developed regionalized mental health crisis care services for children and adults.

The counties and bands work together as the Arrowhead Health Alliance and they're currently promoting their mental health crisis services with a public service announcement campaign titled, "Let's talk."

"I wanted to make sure no one thinks our crisis lines are shutting down," Curran said. "The most important thing is there's not despair and panic. We have answers for people — children, families and adults. I just didn't want misinformation for our region."

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Crisis hotline numbers in Arrowhead region

Carlton, Cook, South St. Louis and Lake counties/Fond du Lac Band

218-623-1800 or 844-772-4742

North St. Louis County/Bois Forte Band

218-288-2100

Itasca County

218-326-8565 or 211*

Koochiching County

800-442-8565 or 211*

*St. Louis County 211 services are not crisis-related