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SUMMER 2020

FIRSTLINK’S DATABASE FirstLink recognizes the new challenges that our community is facing. There are barriers to receiving necessary services that have not existed previously, and more people may need access to assistance than before. In an effort to help community members easily find information, we have implemented filtering on our public resource directory. Search results can now be filtered by COVID-19 related service changes or special programming, types of insurance accepted, and Telehealth services. We are working hard to keep our directory up to date and easily searchable in order to connect individuals with the resources they need.

FIRSTLINK CARE AND SUPPORT SERVICES For years, FirstLink has been providing follow up support to individuals at risk for suicide through our Caring Contacts program. Two years ago, we launched our Community Navigator services to provide support and guidance to those seeking to recover from substance use. Caring Contacts aims to support the physical and emotional safety of individuals who are at medium to high risk for suicide. Through letters and phone calls, Caring Contacts promotes adherence to aftercare, encourages resilience and empowers participants to develop safety plans that reduce readmissions to the hospital. Participants may be referred by a clinic, hospital or emergency department. Participants calling through 2-1-1 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (both answered locally by FirstLink) may also be offered caring contacts. The Community Navigator assists individuals

with finding substance use treatment or recovery support services. The program is open to those in all stages of use and recovery as well as concerned loved ones. Participants receive knowledgeable, personal assistance with finding appropriate services as well as follow-up that enhances motivation for recovery, reduces barriers to accessing services, and diverts from emergency and law enforcement resources to more appropriate care. Participants may be referred from a provider or can self-refer by calling our 24-hour helpline.

We understand this is a challenging time for many people who are isolated, face challenges meeting basic needs or perhaps have experienced a disruption to their regular healthcare services. The team has doubled down efforts the last few months to reach more people by reconnecting with healthcare providers, providing education and building awareness that links people with support and resources. Our dedicated team of call specialists are available 24/7 to offer listening and support and resources to you, your lovedones, or patients. If you have any questions about our care and support services, feel free to call us at (701) 235-7335 or simply dial 2-1-1 if you live anywhere in North Dakota or Clay County, Minnesota.


A LETTER FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CINDY MILLER Personally, I hope your family has taken this time to reconnect, slow down and appreciate life’s blessings. Our Lifesaver Luncheon will be held virtually on Wednesday, September 30th, at 11:30 am. Please mark it on your calendars. We will have various FirstLink supporters talk about FirstLink and show various videos and pictures from the past 50 years. You won’t want to miss this! I would also like to update you on Giving Tree of Hope. Because of the uncertainties of COVID-19, and the magnitude of the event manned by

MEET THE TEAM What a great opportunity here with FirstLink! It is a true honor to be with such a strong pillar in our mutual community. Social services have always been a part of my core DNA, and after working in the corporate technology world for 10+ years I have chosen to make a change into social services; what a good choice. Since beginning my career “refocus,” I spent the last year working with autistic children and with vulnerable adults which aligned me well to the position of Training and Education Specialist here at FirstLink. Following years of living in the southern states, a return to North Dakota (grew up in Fargo) has been a welcomed breath of fresh air. I really look forward to getting out in the community to evangelize how FirstLink is supporting our folks in need of a caring voice/ear. I am starting my Master of Social Work (MSW) at UND in January 2021. My hope is to be able to meet many of those FirstLink supports soon. “Everyone up for the kickoff……The March is ON.” – Rich Callahan

hundreds of volunteers, FirstLink will not be holding a gift-giving distribution. We realize that people may need extra financial support this year. So, we encourage everyone to talk to your neighbors, friends, family, businesses, and churches to work together to donate/collect gifts. Please stay safe and remember anyone can call or text FirstLink 24 hours a day!

Feeling blessed,

Cindy Miller FirstLink’s Executive Director


TRAINING UPDATE

FirstLink is offering virtual training sessions, including 211 University, Suicide Intervention, and Meet FirstLink. If you are interested in attending one of these educational opportunities, go to our website under events and training or call our Training and Education Specialist. Visit myfirstlink.org/events for more details.

FIRSTLINK’S BACKTO-SCHOOL STRESS Back-to-school season can be filled with excitement but also stress. If you or a loved one is struggling during these times, please call FirstLink. We are here 24/7. FirstLink can help you get connected with local resources for the back to school season. Our database has resources relating to school supplies, school clothing, childcare and much more that may be helpful for the transition into the school year. FirstLink also offers listening and support. We can be reached by dialing 211 or (701) 235-7335 and by text at 898-211 (TXT-211) and typing ‘ND4Me’.

VIRTUAL

LIFESAVER LUNCHEON Featuring: Special guest Katherine Kiernan, CEO of Aspire Realty to share her story Various people, pictures, and commercials, that have been part of FirstLink’s 50 year history. Wednesday, September 30th at 11:30 am No cost to attend Register at

firstlink.regfox.com/luncheon-2020


P.O. Box 447 Fargo, ND 58107-0447

Need Resources and Support? Dial

2-1-1 or (701)-235-7335 Thoughts of Suicide? National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255 answered locally by FirstLink

SUCCESS STORIES It has been difficult not to be able to go out with my coffee friends due to COVID. But I’m not isolated, I have family. FirstLink is my family and is always there to talk.

The uncertainty of the world is making my life so difficult. Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart with me--what FirstLink does is amazing.

Wow! Thanks, I did not realize that there was more than one food pantry in my area. I will get to have a warm meal tonight.

Your directory of resources is great. I searched for therapists that offer virtual appointments so I would not have to drive 45 minutes to the closest therapist and pulled several options right up.

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FirstLink Summer 2020 Newsletter  

FirstLink Summer 2020 Newsletter  

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