Shutdown 2011: July 9, 2011 Archive

State adds mental health crisis number to shutdown voicemail

Posted at 7:00 AM on July 9, 2011 by Madeleine Baran (2 Comments)


Earlier this week, we reported on Bridge House, a state-run mental health facility in Duluth that closed due to the shutdown. We found the facility's voicemail message didn't include any information about other ways to get help.

Here's what the message said on Thursday:

"Welcome to the State of Minnesota voicemail system serving the Duluth area. Please re-enter the seven-digit number of the person you're trying to reach. Or if you're a subscriber on the system, please press the pound key. Thank you."

Department of Human Services spokesperson Terry Gunderson said the agency has since changed the message. It now says:

"You have reached Bridge House. Due to the shutdown of state government, our services are temporarily unavailable. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, call 911 or 218-723-0099."

The 218 number leads to a crisis hotline.

The Department of Human Services also provided an update on the other State Operated Services impacted by the shutdown. Those services include programs for people with mental illness, developmental disabilities, chemical dependency and traumatic brain injury at nearly 200 sites around the state.

Here's the update from DHS:

All of State Operated Services facilities are accepting admissions and providing direct care as usual, with the exception of dental clinics. SOS is providing emergency dental services. (The dental clinics are on our closed list on the website.) Administrative support functions for SOS are operating with reduced staffing.


The SOS Community Partnership Network, which provides mental health professional services under contract with counties and other entities statewide, was not deemed critical by the court. Bridge House, which is operated by a consortium of counties, contracts for employees through the Community Partnership Network. There is currently a petition regarding Community Partnership Network. This was before the special master today.


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