Adapted from the King County Balanced You blog
Essential and frontline workers and emergency responders have been involved in the COVID-19 response for many months now. While this work is rewarding, the long hours, breadth of demands, and exposure to human suffering can adversely affect the most seasoned responder. As we transition into the autumn and prepare for both the seasonal flu and the mental health crisis that experts are warning is ahead, this already difficult work may become more so.
Studies of emergency responders from 9/11 show that those involved in mental health support services, such as one-on-one counseling or support groups, have improved mental health outcomes. For those who continue to provide essential services during COVID-19, please call upon support services to help you get through the challenges you face. Your well-being is as important as the well-being of the community you serve.
Mental health resources
- Washington Listens is a program to support anyone in Washington experiencing stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic or any of the events that have occurred because of it. Call 1-833-681-0211, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. TTY and language access services are available.
- Crisis Connections provides many resources and support for anxiety, loneliness, recovery, and more. Language interpretation in more than 155 languages is available. Call 866-427-4747 or text HOME to 741741 for support.
- SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline provides trained counselors and support for stress, anxiety and more. Support available 24/7, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUS to 66746. Spanish-speakers can call the hotline and press “2” for bilingual support. Interpreters are available for 100 other languages.
- The Boys Town National Hotline is a free resource and counseling service that assists youth and parents 24/7, year round, nationwide. Spanish-speaking counselors and translation services for more than 100 languages also are available 24 hours a day. Call 1-800-448-3000, text VOICE to 20121, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect.
- King County’s Department of Community and Human Services provides publicly funded mental health and substance use services to low-income people in need.
- Additional resources and mental health resources can be found on Washington State Coronavirus resources website.
- A list of additional Community Mental Health Resources helps connect King County residents to 24/7 emotional support resources, ways to connect to a counselor, and information for both people living with a mental health condition and their family members and caregivers.
This is a stressful time impacting our lives in different ways. We may notice changes in how we think, feel and connect with ourselves and each other. If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed with stress, sadness, worry or grief, remember it’s okay to ask for help. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Originally posted on October 1, 2020