The program includes a phone line to speak with support specialists and connect to community resources
Release date: July 6, 2020
Release Number: FEMA R10 COVID-19 NR-003
From FEMA and the Washington State Joint Information Center on COVID-19 Response:
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 caused by 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 this virus, and this assistance will help Washingtonians recover during this uniquely stressful time,” said Mike O’Hare, FEMA Region 10 administrator.
The Washington Listens support line is 1-833-681-0211. It is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 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 American Indian Community Center, Colville Tribe, Community Integrated Health Services, Crisis Connections, Frontier Behavioral Health, Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare, and Swinomish Tribe.
The Washington Listens support line is made available by a $2.2 million Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) grant funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This program supports 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.
The Washington State Employee Assistance Program, EAP, is offering webinars on a variety of COVID-19 related topics to support emotional and mental health and wellbeing. Register for an upcoming live session or view a pre-recorded session on-demand below. More sessions will be added regularly.
In our ever changing world, learning how to navigate change is an essential skill—one that can be developed. In this webinar we’ll talk about the impact of change, actions you can take to navigate change based on your unique response to stress, and resources available to support you.
How to Build Resilience When Your Job Involves Helping Others in Crisis
This webinar is intended for those who are supporting others in crisis e.g. customers, clients, students, employees/staff. During this webinar you will learn how your mind and body responds to stress, possible impacts on your emotional and physical well-being, strategies to build resilience, and supports and resources available to you.
The Washington State Employee Assistance Program is offering webinars on a variety of COVID-19 related topics to support emotional and mental health and wellbeing. Register today for these upcoming live webinars:
*New* Couples: Managing Your Way through COVID-19 (live)
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on the Department of Commerce’s agency blog.
The Interagency Committee of State Employed Women, ICSEW, meets every two months in Olympia. It’s a great group of state workers, and I am super excited to represent the Department of Commerce on the committee. I look forward to these meetings because they’re filled with valuable information and tips that anyone can take back and apply to their personal and professional lives.
We all know supporting those around us helps strengthen our communities inside and outside Commerce. For example, think how great it feels when someone checks in with you when you’ve had a rough day or when you get a compliment on a project you worked hard on.
New movements lead to change, and our speakers encouraged attendees to be part of the movements. So let’s try to build up others around us at least once a day. It could be a smile in the hall, asking how someone is doing, or maybe noticing someone seems different from usual and might need a friendly ear.
We also discussed amplification.
Women in the Obama administration adopted amplification as a way to make sure they were heard in meetings. After one woman offered an idea, if it wasn’t acknowledged, another woman would repeat it and give her colleague credit for suggesting it.
The Washington Post also wrote an article about amplification that’s worth checking out.
So how can we support one another?
Bring our whole selves
Align our words and actions
Take off our masks
Bring our real selves to work
Take care of ourselves
Pick one to try, and our movement will carry throughout our communities.