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Washington Listens is here for you: 1-833-681-0211 

What is Washington listens? 

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and to provide support the state of Washington is standing up a Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) called Washington Listens. Washington Listens will provide non-clinical psycho-education based support to people experiencing elevated stress due to COVID-19. 

Washington Listens will provide a support line for anyone in Washington to call, message, text, or video call to speak to a crisis counselor. The person in crisis will receive support and connection to community resources in their area. The program is anonymous and no identifying information is maintained. Service encounters and the nature of the encounter is tracked, but only to ensure that the needs of people using the support line are met. 

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 or accessibility options or to 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 out to our most vulnerable populations, crisis counselors will reach out to community and spiritual leaders to check in on people. 

Staffing 

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. 

  • Crisis Connections
  • Community Integrated Health Services (CIHS) • American Indian Community Center (AICC)
  • Swinomish Tribe 
  • Colville Tribe 
  • Frontier Behavioral Health (FBH) 
  • Okanogan Behavioral HealthCare (OBHC)

Support, Tracking, and Oversight

Teams will be working remotely due to precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Oversight will need to be done remotely through routine daily check in meetings with staff. The supervisor should ensure services are being tracked, as well as issues and resolutions.. The supervisor should make sure that staff are following guidelines. Team leaders should check to make sure call logs match service tracking. During check-ins the supervisor should provide support to any counselor experiencing stress whether it is related to the job or not. We are asking a lot from our counselors who are working with individuals experiencing difficult moments while our counselors are experiencing stress themselves. HCA will conduct regular weekly check-ins with team leaders and any counselors who wish to join.

The Crisis Counseling Program is an anonymous service. No personal information is collected. There does not need to be any case notes for services provided. A service encounter log will need to be filled out for contacts over 15 minutes. Weekly tracking logs will need to be completed as well, to summarize all activities for the week. All tracking documents will need to be compiled by the team leader or data specialist and sent to the designated person to compile information.

More Information coming soon

Washington Listens will be operational soon to provide anonymous support to anyone in Washington who needs it. We will release more information about how to access the support line and crisis counselors.
Contact Matt.Gower2@hca.wa.gov or Amanda.Lewis@hca.wa.gov with questions.