Washington State launched the Washington Listen program to support people affected by the stress of COVID-19 - this program includes a phone line to speak with support specialists and connect to community resources.
July 6, 2020
OLYMPIA - In response to COVID-19, Washington has launched Washington Listens, a support program and phone line to help people manage elevated levels of stress due to the pandemic.
People who call the Washington Listens support line will speak with a support specialist and get connected to community resources in their area. The program is anonymous.
"Washington Listens helps people cope and strengthen their resiliency in these uncertain times," said Sue Birch, director of the Washington State Health Care Authority, the agency managing the program. "It complements the state's behavioral health response services by providing an outlet for people who are not in crisis but need an outlet to manage stress."
"This pandemic has had far-reaching effects that extend beyond our physical health. We are still in this fight against the virus, and the assistance will help Washingtonians recover during this uniquely stressful time," said Mike O'Haire, FEMA Region 10 administrator.
The Washington Listens support line is 1-833-681-0211. It is available from 9am - 9pm, Monday - Friday, and 9am - 6pm, Saturdays and Sundays. TTY and language access services are available by using 7-1-1 or their preferred method.
Providers and tribes that have partnered with Washington Listens include:
The Washington Listens support line is made available by a $2.2 million Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CPP) grant funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This program support short-term interventions to mitigate stress, promote the use or development of coping strategies, and provide emotional support to help Washingtonians understand and process their stress.
Read more about Washington Listens below.
How does Washington Listens function?
Anyone in the state can call into the line to receive anonymous support. No personal information is kept by crisis counselors. The caller will have the option to select a language preference to accessibility options, or be routed to a live person for assistance. If the person in crisis needs behavioral health support, the counselor will work to get the person connected to behavioral health crisis services.
In order to reach to our most vulnerable populations, crisis counselors will reach out to community and spiritual leaders to check in on people.
All positions require a high school diploma and do not require clinical education or experience, however staff will receive core content and basic training that cover skills needed to provide support to individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following is a list of providers and tribes who will be starting up a team:
Resources and self-help tips are available on walistens.org.