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Community Services & Support At Your Finger Tips

What Is FirstLink?

FirstLink is a free, confidential service offering listening and support, referrals to resources/help, and crisis intervention 24 hours a day. FirstLink answers the 211 Information & Referral Helpline, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, and several contract lines providing support to other human service agencies. FirstLink provides these services across the entire state of North Dakota and parts of Minnesota. To reach support, connect with FirstLink via phone, text, or chat:

211 Information & Referral Helpline
Dial 2-1-1 or (701) 235-7335
Text zip code to 898-211

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Dial or text 9-8-8

FirstLink offers the Care and Support Program, a program that receives referrals from hospitals and clinics across North Dakota as well as the 211 Helpline and the 988 Lifeline. The program offers resources and coping strategies, encourages mental health treatment, and provides non-judgmental listening and support. Calls are offered weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly and work around your schedule. The Care and Support Program is confidential, free, and voluntary.


Meet Our Leaders

Jennifer Illich
Executive Director

Ashley Ladbury Hrichena
Operations Director

Ashley Lemke
Helpline Director

Jeremy Brown
Outreach Director

Board of Directors

Sarah Aaberg, O’Keefe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys
Vice-Chair of Governance

Kristi Clifton, US Air Force – ND Air National Guard

Ashley Schmidt, Bremer Bank

Timothy Briggeman, Cass County Sheriff’s Office

Kyle Veum, Forum Communications Company
Board Chair/Vice-Chair of Internal Board

Chesley Matter, Blue Cross Blue Shield ND
Internal Board

Darren Schmidt, Valley Mortgage
Internal Board

Sandra Buchholz, Sanford Health
Internal Board

Dave Lund, Digital Plains
Vice-Chair of External Board

Kathryn Norby, Sanford Health
External Board

Elizabeth Medd, studioBARRED
External Board

Blaise Kautzman, Epic Tech
External Board

FirstLink History

24-Hour Helpline

Dial 211 or 701-235-SEEK (7335) for local community and volunteer resources or for listening and support.


988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Dial 988 if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide.


Crisis Phone Services

Crisis Service Agencies contract with FirstLink to answer their phones after hours.

Learn More