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Texting For Help On Minnesota Suicide Prevention Hotline

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Data from a 2010 Minnesota Student Survey cites an “alarming rate” of suicidal tendencies in the northeastern part of the state.

Carlton County recently received a $1.44 million federal grant for a seven-county texting hotline for suicide prevention.

The center is receiving as many cell phone text messages from teenagers in one day as it formerly got from phone calls in a month. Since November, 160 people have texted counselors who have reported conversations lasting anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours, equating to a 10 to 15 minute phone call.

Behavioral health issues among youth generate from relationship issues and breakups that traumatize students. Counselors try to move the texters to phone calls and face-to-face sessions. In emergencies, they work with law enforcement.

Presentations and posters and glow-in-the-dark bracelets give both phone and text numbers for students to plug into their cell phones.

Read more about this important program in Education Week.