What Is FirstLink?
FirstLink is a free, confidential service available to anyone 24/7/365 for listening and support, referrals to resources/help, and crisis intervention. FirstLink answers the 211 helpline, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, and communicates via the text line 898-211. FirstLink provides these services across the entire state of North Dakota and parts of Minnesota. Dial 2-1-1 or text your zipcode to 898-211 from anywhere in our service area for confidential help and support.
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 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The program offers informational 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.
Board of Directors
Volunteers for Community Services incorporated.
HotLine incorporated. Volunteer operated from 7 pm-1 am each day.
First organized Holiday Clearing Bureau effort.
First collaborative effort with the American Legion Toy Project and the Holiday Clearing Bureau.
Volunteers for Community Service and HotLine, Inc. merged – became HotLine Community Services.
HotLine Community Services merged with United Way of Cass-Clay and became Community Resource Division.
Became accredited through American Association of Suicidology (AAS).
United Way’s Community Resources Division became a nonprofit subsidiary of United Way of Cass-Clay and became Community Resources, Inc.
Community Resources, Inc. was reorganized and a full-time director was hired.
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.
Began Suicide Education Outreach in local schools
The Volunteer Center initiated the Nonprofit Board Development Training (January)
Community Resources, Inc. changed its name to FirstLink and reorganized.
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.
Holiday Clearing Bureau changed its name to Season of Hope and partnered with The Salvation Army to distribute holiday gifts and food baskets.
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.
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 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’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 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.
Added a Community Navigator program to connect those struggling with addiction to resources. We began offering texting for our 211 line.
FirstLink’s Statewide Suicide Follow-up Call Team received the Partnership Building Award from the North Dakota Association of Nonprofits, recognizing community leadership.
FirstLink celebrated its 50th anniversary! Due to the COVID-10 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.
Our Suicide Follow-up program and our Community Navigator for addiction program combined to form the Care and Support program.
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.