The statistics are staggering.  According to information released by St. Louis County, the number of people who have died by suicide in Minnesota has increased by 40% in the last 20 years; that means that since 1989, the suicide rate in the state has almost doubled.  In addition, the rate in St. Louis County is more than one and a half times that of the Twin Cities metro.  In addition, rural areas - like the Arrowhead - there is a lack of resources and finances to better staff mental health and substance abuse care centers.

A recent grant received by St. Louis County will go a long way towards correcting that situation.  The Minnesota Department of Health has awarded the county a four year grant worth $320,000 to support the "Thrive Range" initiative.  "Thrive Range" aims to deliver sustainable mental health and substance misuse resources to the Iron Range and northern St. Louis County.  The grant will be accessible in segments of $80,000 each year.

The "Thrive Range" initiative will be coordinated by the St. Louis County Public health department and will focus on three areas:  healthcare, schools, and community.