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Boys & Girls Club Mental Health Access Program sets $50,000 fundraising goal

The 2023 Leadership Duluth Class has launched an area-wide campaign called “Just Breathe 988” to bring awareness to the new nation-wide 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. The goal is for everyone to be aware that, like 911, anyone in the nation can call or text 988 when they or someone they know is experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis.

In conjunction with the Just Breathe 988 Awareness Campaign, the Leadership Duluth class is joining forces with Duluth Rotary Club 25 in a fundraising campaign. All the proceeds will go to the Boys and Girls Club’s Mental Health Access program.

The program was launched in 2019 with initial funding of $25,000 from Duluth Rotary, which has sustained the program with additional grants of over $65,000. Club 25 has a goal to raise another $25,000 in 2023 and the Leadership Duluth Class of 2023 is ambitiously trying to match the $25,000 through a go-fund-me campaign.

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The National 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline are for those in a mental health or substance abuse crisis. Anyone experiencing suicidal, substance use and other mental health crises can reach a trained crisis counselor by calling or texting 9-8-8.

The 988 Lifeline serves as a universal entry point to this free, confidential service, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No matter where a person lives in the United States or its territories, a trained crisis counselor will respond.

When someone calls or texts 988, they are responded to by a group of Lifeline crisis centers that answer both calls and texts in their region. A trained crisis counselor answers the phone/text, listens to the caller, understands how their problem is affecting them, provides support, and shares resources if needed. If the local crisis center is unable to take the call, the caller is automatically routed to a national backup crisis center.

More information and media resources are available at

About the Boys and Girls Mental Health Access Program and Duluth Rotary

In spring of 2019 the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland began providing mental health services and support in the clubs. It’s initial programming goals were to integrate the mental health staff into the clubs and create dialogues that helped to remove the stigma attached to mental health related issues.

Through the positive relationships with focused mental health counselors on site and the support of trusted staff the clubs have worked to create a safe environment for youth to get help and remove barriers to accessing these much-needed services. The need for mental health supportive services for youth has only continued to grow.

Since 1971, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland ( has been in the forefront of youth development in Duluth and the surrounding area. The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs is to empower and inspire all young people, especially those who need the clubs the most, to reach their full potential as caring, productive, responsible citizens. In 2022, the clubs served over 87,000 healthy meals and snacks, provided over 2,500 hours of tutoring and reached over 4,000 youth through memberships and community outreach programs.

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service and encourages high ethical standards in all vocations. Rotary of Duluth Club 25 meets at noon Thursdays at the Holiday Inn – Lyric Conference Center. (