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
Board of Directors
Hollie McLean, Bremer Bank
Board Chair/Vice-Chair of Governance
Kristi Clifton, US Air Force – ND Air National Guard
Sarah Aaberg, O’Keefe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys
Timothy Briggeman, Cass County Sheriff’s Office
Kyle Veum, Forum Communications Company
Vice-Chair of Internal Board
Chesly Matter, Blue Cross Blue Shield ND
Darren Schmidt, Valley Mortgage
Thomas Tweten, Bell Insurance
Vice-Chair of External Board
Dave Lund, Digital Plains
Elizabeth Medd, studioBARRED
Blaise Kautzman, Epic Tech
Expansion of funding provided by the state of North Dakota is approved for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. FirstLink hires a 988 Coordinator to oversee the Lifeline services.
Our Suicide Follow-up program and our Community Navigator for addiction program combined to form the Care and Support program.
FirstLink celebrated its 50th anniversary! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our celebrations looked much different than we had planned, and unfortunately, we were not able to hold our Giving Tree of Hope/Toys for Tots event.
FirstLink’s Statewide Suicide Follow-up Call Team received the Partnership Building Award from the North Dakota Association of Nonprofits, recognizing community leadership.
Added a Community Navigator program to connect those struggling with addiction to resources. We began offering texting for our 211 line.
FirstLink expanded the Giving Tree of Hope program, becoming the local Toys for Tots coordinator. Began offering Mental Health First Aid USA training. The Volunteer Center became the Volunteer Network.
FirstLink’s Giving Tree of Hope program partnered with Toys for Tots to provide holiday gifts to those in Cass County, ND and Clay County, MN.
FirstLink receives certification as a Child Abduction Response Team (CART) member. Began an Ongoing Suicide Follow-up Program funded by the North Dakota Department of Health.
FirstLink received accreditation from the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS). The first Teen CERT class was held at West Fargo High School. Experienced Parent Project was no longer a project at FirstLink.
FirstLink began providing 2-1-1 service for Cass County, ND and Clay County, MN. Received the Crisis Center Award for Community Engagement from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL). Began offering LivingWorks Education’s Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop.
Holiday Clearing Bureau changed its name to Season of Hope and partnered with The Salvation Army to distribute holiday gifts and food baskets.
Director of Volunteer Center was hired and Disaster Volunteer Coordination is re-established. Community Emergency Response TEAM (CERT) training is established under the Volunteer Center. FirstLink moves to 13th Avenue, in Fargo.
Community Resources, Inc. changed its name to FirstLink and reorganized.
The Volunteer Center initiated the Nonprofit Board Development Training (January)
Began Suicide Education Outreach in local schools
United Way of Cass-Clay and Community Resources, Inc. dissolved their parent/subsidiary relationship (January). Community Resources, Inc. became its own free-standing nonprofit organization.
Community Resources, Inc. was reorganized and a full-time director was hired.
United Way’s Community Resources Division became a nonprofit subsidiary of United Way of Cass-Clay and became Community Resources, Inc.
Became accredited through American Association of Suicidology (AAS).
HotLine Community Services merged with United Way of Cass-Clay and became Community Resource Division.
Volunteers for Community Service and HotLine, Inc. merged – became HotLine Community Services.
First collaborative effort with the American Legion Toy Project and the Holiday Clearing Bureau.
First organized Holiday Clearing Bureau effort.
HotLine incorporated. Volunteer operated from 7 pm-1 am each day.
Volunteers for Community Services incorporated.
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.