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MN Text Hotline a Lifeline in Teens' Pockets - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

MN Text Hotline a Lifeline in Teens' Pockets

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Update

Minnesota lawmakers are moving to set up a statewide text message suicide prevention program.

The House Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday passed a bill that would take a seven-county pilot program in northeastern Minnesota to the state level. That program, called TXT4Life, lets teens get in touch via text message with counselors.

Officials who help run that program say teens would rather send a text than call for help. TXT4Life counselors have talked with 400 people a month, on average. The state's suicide prevention phone line gets fewer than 15 calls per month.

Rep. Mike Sundin, an Esko Democrat, says he had that demand in mind with his bill. He says the state may need to provide $2.5 million annually to fund the program.

 


Original Story

Minnesota lawmakers are considering setting up a statewide text message suicide prevention program.

The proposal would establish a prevention text line that people who need help can contact to get emergency contact information. It would also provide training in schools and communities about how to use the new program.

Rep. Mike Sundin, an Esko Democrat, has the bill, which the House Health and Human Services Policy committee is set to take up Wednesday.

The state would fund the program, but the bill doesn't yet state how much it would need in funding.

After receiving a $1.4 million federal grant to set up a text hotline, Carlton County officials said last year they got as many text messages from teens in a day as they used to get in a month.

 

 

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