4 Decades of Proud Service!
Dial Help Community Support and Outreach Center, is located in historic Houghton, MI in the heart of the Keweenaw (affectionately known as the the Copper Country) at the top of Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.
Today, Dial Help Community Support and Outreach Center is a licensed substance abuse prevention center providing Crisis Intervention, Counseling Services, Family Support Services, Victim Assistance Services, Specialized Behavioral Education, and Sexual Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention Services.
Established in 1971, Dial Help is one of only a handful of independent crisis centers in the state and the only one located in Michigan’s 16,000 square mile Upper Peninsula. Dial Help is non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation managed by a Board of Directors.
Dial Help was founded in January of 1971. A group of local citizens concerned about drug abuse problems can be credited as the founders of the first crisis line in the Copper Country. Dial Drug, Inc., the forerunner to Dial Help, was established in January 1971, with the crisis line starting operation in September of that year. Dealing mainly with drug crises, Dial Drug and its crisis line 482-DRUG, were utilized primarily by high school and college students. At that time, the crisis line was staffed entirely with volunteers and financially backed through private donations and community fund-raising events.
Dial Drug received its initial state support from the Michigan Department of Mental Health in 1973. As time went by, with increased demand for services and the realization that alcohol and drug abuse are symptomatic of larger problems, the agency changed its name to Dial Help. In 1974, services were expanded to implement substance abuse prevention programs in area schools. In 1981, in response to sexual assault victims and their families/significant others, a Rape Victim Support Team, funded through a government grant, was developed. Ten years later, in 1991, the Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission expanded the program to include victimization of all types.
Over the years, Dial Help has transformed from an all-volunteer organization to an agency which, while still reliant upon volunteer assistance, maintains a professional staff. In 1999, Dial Help purchased a building in downtown Houghton, increasing visibility and adding walk-in access to clients.
In 2012 Dial Help entered it’s 41st year and over those years has helped thousands of people, help themselves, while providing stable services at the same time demonstrating an unwavering flexibility and responsiveness to community needs.
1971 – Dial Drug founded and helpline initiated (906) 482-DRUG
1972 – Volunteer Training, education programs, counseling, and drop-in services begin (All are still in effect today)
1973 – Dial Drug hires a full time Director
1974 – Dial Help changes its name to Dial Help and expands services to more generalized crisis intervention services changing its helpline number to (906) 482-HELP (still in use today)
1976 – “Dial Helpline” begins running weekly in “The Daily Mining Gazette.”
1976 - The Dial Help Helpline begins a 24 Hour Helpline for the first time
1977 – Helpline services are offered to the entire Upper Peninsula
1999 – Dial Help moves to new location, a high visibility location allowing for 24 hour walk-in crisis intervention
2005 – Victim Services Unit launched, a cooperative effort between the Houghton County Sheriff Department
2005 – Dial Help joins the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-TALK and (800) SUICIDE as a regional call center.
2006 – Sexual Assault Response Team is launched
2008 – 24 Hour Victim Services Helpline is launched
2009 – Dial Help moves to industry specific, web-based, crisis intervention software increasing its capability and professional responsiveness
2009 - Dial Help adopts BIG TRUCK DAY as its annual fundraiser
2010 – Dial Help officially receives its state license as an Outpatient Substance Abuse Facility, in part returning to its roots as “Dial Drug”
2010 – Instant Message Crisis Intervention is launched, the first major enhancement to the helpline in 34 year
2010 – Dial Help launches more intensive Anger Management Programming
2010 – Dial Help launches the Domestic Violence Intervention Program based on the Duluth Model
2010 – Dial Help in coalition with other U.P. organizations launch the Upper Peninsula Suicide Prevention Coalition in response to community needs
2011 – Dial Help celebrates its 40th anniversary serving the Copper Country and the Upper Peninsula
2012 – Dial Help completes a major building facade renovations including new windows, mortar repair, front door, and signage