State launches hotline to help with stress and anxiety

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Washington state launched a support program and phone line called Washington Listens to help people manage stress and anxiety related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The support line number is 1-833/681-0211. It’s available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Text telephone and language access services are available by using 7-1-1 or other methods.

Callers will get support and connection to community resources in their area, according to a fact sheet on the program. The program is anonymous; the only information Washington Listens tracks are the number of calls and the nature of those calls.

“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, in a press release. “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.”

The program is a partnership with American Indian Community Center, the Colville Tribe, Community Integrated Health Services, Crisis Connections, Frontier Behavioral Health, Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare, and Swinomish Tribe.

The support line is funded by a $2.2 million Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program grant funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency and supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Resources and self-help tips are available on walistens.org.

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