TXT4Life began as a program funded under a Garrett Lee Smith SAMHSA Grant for the seven counties (Aitkin-Carlton-Cook-Itasca-Koochiching-Lake-St. Louis), and four Tribes (Fond du Lac, Red Lake, Bois Forte, Grand Portage) of Northeast Minnesota. Currently, the program is funded by State Legislative funding that was allocated in both the 2013 and 2015 Omnibus Bills. This funding has allowed for the expansion of the program to all of Minnesota. The coverage to all Minnesota counties by Regional Coordinators will be implemented by April 2018.
The texting portion of the program allows a person in crisis to text into a confidential line where trained Counselors assist them. The national Crisis Text Line is used for this service, and a person in crisis can text MN to 741741 to be connected.
TXT4Life Regional Coordinators reach students through school presentations where education about suicide prevention and steps to help a friend in crisis are given, as well as resources including the text line information and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255). Information is also gathered from students about adults they trust, who they might go to in the time of a crisis. Additional evidence-based training opportunities are offered to these identified adults. Student groups have also been established at various schools to continue the promotion of TXT4Life and participate in suicide prevention/awareness activities.
Trainings are available to anyone and given across the region and state. The trainings include QPR – Question, Persuade, Refer (both in-person and online options), and ASIST – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. Training, education, marketing, local/regional and state collaborations, and innovation have made this project a rapid success.
More questions? Want to request a training in your school/community? Contact the Northeast MN TXT4Life Coordinator, Meghann Levitt, at 218-878-2846 or firstname.lastname@example.org.