FirstLink offers Caring Contacts, a program that receives referrals from hospitals and clinics across North Dakota as well as the 211 Helpline and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL). The program offers informal resources and coping strategies, encourages mental health treatment, and provides non-judgmental listening and support over the phone. This program is designed to check in with individuals who have recently experienced a suicide crisis to assess their well-being and level of risk and to support them as they continue their journey towards recovery. Phone calls are tailored to the individuals need, they are structured and focus on continued assessment of risk.
During the phone call, call specialists assess for risk, de-escalate crisis, offer coping strategies and other informal resources, offer nonjudgmental listening and supportive contact, develop a safety plan and support and encourage self-help strategies.
Calls are offered weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly and work around the participants schedule.
A caring card is sent out to those that choose to provide an address. Caring cards are one of the only psychological interventions that has been shown to reduce suicide. Caring cards include contact information for both the NSPL and FirstLink 211 helpline.
If you would like to participate in Caring Contacts, please simply dial 211 or 701-235-7335.
For more information on how to enroll your healthcare facility in this program or to collaborate with FirstLink on the Caring Contacts program call our administration office at 701-293-6462 and ask to speak to the Caring Contacts Program Coordinator.
The primary goals of this program are to
- Ensure physical and emotional safety of participants
- Empower and motivate participants to use resources available to them
- Reduce service gaps by promoting continuity of care
- Encourage resilience and the development of a safety plan
FirstLink collaborates with clinics and hospitals throughout North Dakota on Caring Contacts. Our current partnering health care agencies include the following:
- Sanford –Fargo/Moorhead
- Altru Health Systems
- Prairie St. John’s CHI St. Alexius Williston
- Sakakawea Medical Center
- Valley Community Health
- SW District Health
- First District Health
- Central Valley Health
- ND State Hospital
- Northwood Deaconess Health Center
- Jamestown Regional Medical Center
- Jacobson Memorial
- Wishek Hospital Community Action
- Northland Community
- Spirit Lake Health Center
- Glen Ullin FMC
- Elgin Community