On November 17, the Department of Health (DOH) announced the launch of the Native and Strong Lifeline:
Washington’s Native and Strong Lifeline is now live –the first program of its kind in the nation dedicated to serving American Indian and Alaska Native people. Operated by Volunteers of America Western Washington (VOA), one of our state’s three 988 crisis centers, this line is available for people who call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and is specifically for Washington’s American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Calls are answered by Native crisis counselors who are tribal members and descendants closely tied to their communities. The Native and Strong Lifeline counselors are fully trained in crisis intervention and support, with special emphasis on cultural and traditional practices related to healing.
"It is exciting to be launching the Native and Strong option for American Indian and Alaska Native citizens in Washington state. The opportunity has been needed to meet the crisis needs of our people for many, many years," said Marilyn M. Scott, Chairman of the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe. "It will be nice for our people to be served by individuals who understand what our trauma experiences are and assist with getting the help that they need."
Read the full press release.