In 2011, Carlton County received a federal grant to roll out a texting hotline, Text-4-Life, across seven counties in northeastern Minnesota, including Itasca, Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis counties. The program targets students in grades 7 through 12. If you or someone you know has thought about hurting themselves, you can text the word life to 839 863 and get help today.
Tuesday, Itasca County Health and Human Services Director Eric Villeneuve gave the county board an update on the program. Last year, 174 Itasca County people used the program, 136 texted from Cass county, which isn’t even in the project area, and 212 Hennipen county people used the program, even though it’s not even advertised in that area.
A study revealed 20 percent of Minnesota´s 9th grade students in public schools reported hurting themselves on purpose at some time in their lives. In 2013, the project received money to expand state-wide.
In 2007, suicide in Minnesota was the second leading cause of death for 15- to 34-year-olds and the third leading cause of death for 10- to 14-year-olds.