FirstLink reports high volume of calls since launch of new suicide and crisis lifeline

Calls to all of their resource lines have jumped up 40% since the Summer launch of 988.

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FARGO — Since the launch of the new suicide and crisis lifeline number 988, calls have increased across the country and in the region.

All calls to the number in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota go to FirstLink in Fargo. They say call volumes across all of their lines have increased 40% since the new number was added.

People who call 9-8-8 will be in contact with someone from FirstLink to assist them depending on the situation. FirstLink is also looking for more help answering the phones for their resource lines.

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"National call volume has increased. Some centers have seen huge jumps in increase like 40% in two months. Ours has not been that significant. We have noticed an increase, but not as significant as other areas," said Ashley Ladebury Hrichena, the operations director at FirstLink.

She said it is not a bad thing call volume is increasing. It was actually expected. It is just more convenient to find help now.


"If you are in crisis, or thinking about suicide, remembering a 10-digit 1-800 number is really challenging. So, there is probably a lot of people that needed help that never called because they didn't remember the number, you know, couldn't find it" she said.

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