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Crisis Line and Referral Service volunteers are ready to listen

Oftentimes, the sheriff’s office receives questions regarding what services are available in the time of personal crisis or when things are just not going well and you may need someone to talk to.

Cass County residents are fortunate to have the assistance of the Crisis Line and Referral Service located in Brainerd available to them. The Crisis Line is often the connection or the “someone” you can turn to when “nobody” understands or when “everyone” is too busy to listen.

The line provides a free, confidential, nonjudgmental, 24-hour crisis line to individuals having a personal crisis. Dedicated, caring volunteers are available to help you share your hurts and fears before they become a crisis, as well as to help those in crisis get help.

The Crisis Line board of directors is made up of officials from the counties that are served. I am fortunate enough to serve on the board of directors as the Cass County representative.

The Crisis Line and Referral Service is a 24-hour crisis line that serves Cass, Aitkin, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties. The Crisis Line was established in 1988 in response to an alarming increase in the suicide rate in Crow Wing County.

It is the mission of the Crisis Line to empower people to help themselves, through support and encouragement. The Crisis Line is a busy place, currently serving more than 3,000 people reach out for help each year.

It is a service that helps people when they are in crisis or before their problems become a crisis. You can also call for a referral to resources in the area and surrounding counties.

The purpose of the Crisis Line and Referral Service is to assist the caller in getting the help he or she needs and to give support and encouragement. The Crisis Line can help in several ways. Callers will always get a voice and a real person on the other end of the line. The Crisis Line is answered 24 hours a day, every day. The Crisis Line volunteers are trained to listen to each caller and provide referrals to resources. The Crisis Line is an anonymous service and conversations are handled in a confidential manner.

The Crisis Line is made possible through volunteers and is operated using donations. They provide community education services (speakers available) and training of volunteers.

If you are able to help support the Crisis Line, your donation can help provide services to improve the quality of life and improve the mental health of the community you live in. Your gift will help someone in need find someone who cares to listen.

It costs $15 an hour or $300 a day to run Crisis Line and Referral Service. Included in these expenses are: the 800 telephone line, the equipment to support operations, the recruitment training and support of the large volunteer base as well as the updating and printing costs of resource manuals, training manuals and brochures.

If you are feeling a little blue, a little lonely, a little frustrated or just need a friend to talk to, Crisis Line volunteers are ready to listen. Call them at 218-828-HELP (4357) or 800-462-5525.

If you have specific questions that you would like answered in this column or in person, contact me using one of the following methods: email:, phone: 218-547-1424 or 1-800-450-2677. By mail or in person: Cass County Sheriff’s Office, 303 Minnesota Ave W, P.O. Box 1119, Walker, MN 56484.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889