WASHINGTON: A First-in-the-Nation 988 Line for Native People Goes Live in WA

November 18, 2022

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  Washington

The Seattle Times

Washington residents now have access to the country’s first-ever 988 crisis line for Native people. Launched last week, the Native and Strong Crisis Lifeline is run by an all-Native team of counselors who are familiar with experiences that may be common among callers, such as intergenerational trauma. In addition to crisis counseling, staff receive training in culturally specific language and incorporating traditional practices in self-care. Some staff live outside of Washington state, helping to diversify the team and reduce the chance that counselors and callers may know each other. Because the line will likely have a lower call volume than a main crisis line, counselors will be able to spend more time with each caller. “Our elders would always say, ‘God gave you one mouth and two ears for a reason,’” said Mia Klick, the line’s coordinator and a Tulalip Tribes and First Nations Nuu-Chah-Nulth descendant. “We were made to listen, it’s deeply ingrained in our DNA, to heal and to help and to listen.” To access the line, callers should dial 988 and then choose option 4.

Spark Extra! Learn about culturally competent approaches to preventing suicide.