March 24, 2020

Emotional and Mental Health Resources Available Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Social distancing is required to keep ourselves and our communities safe but may create or exacerbate challenges mentally and emotionally.

Many of us are following recommendations for social isolation and self-quarantine in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While this is a great choice for our communities at large, we might find it challenging to navigate a world with less human contact.

Life does not halt in the face of an international crisis, and our existing concerns might be even harder to manage right now–especially if we struggle with substance use, grief, mental health, unhealthy family dynamics, or being survivors of violence. As an added complication, many public resources are having to close their doors in order to keep our communities safe.

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Practicing social isolation can be especially hard for those who have experienced violence in the home. Because of our intimate partner violence services, we at YWCA Spokane know that there are now even more barriers for folks living with abusers or who have separated from abusers. Isolation is a common tool of power and control, and quarantine practices will likely give many abusers the chance to keep their victims even more trapped than usual. We also know that even for those who no longer live with an abuser, the experience of isolation might be very upsetting and trigger trauma responses. 

It’s also important to remember that even if we aren’t trying to manage something bigger, this time of limited human contact is likely to make us feel pretty lonely. As social creatures, it makes sense that widespread quarantine practices might be having an effect on our well-being. Fortunately, there are plenty of support resources that can be accessed remotely. Having conversations on the phone, texting, or via online chat certainly can’t act as a complete replacement for in-person interaction, but they can function as a comforting stop-gap in the meantime. 

The following resources are just some of the options available for those needing extra support during this crisis. If you are having a hard time right now, it’s important to know that you are not alone. Many people are feeling lonely, anxious, scared, disassociated, or sad right now. We also know that not everyone has access to the same resources, and those at higher risk may be feeling even more anxiety. A global pandemic affects all of us, and it is unprecedented in most of our lifetimes. Practicing good hygiene and social distancing are important, but so is taking care of our mental and emotional health.

We encourage you to reach out for extra support right now if you need to, whether that is to friends and family, or any of the following resources. 

Emotional and Mental Health Resources Available 

  • Washington State Warm Line
    • What it is: Peer support helpline for those experiencing emotional or mental health challenges that are not yet a crisis. Answered by trained volunteers with lived experience of mental health challenges. The Warm Line is available M-F 5pm-9pm, and Sat-Sun 12:30PM-9PM.
    • How to connect: WA Warm Line | 877-500-9276
  • National Text Crisis Line
    • What it is: Text-based crisis intervention with a real person, anywhere in the USA, at any time. Simply text “HOME” to the number 741741 and you’ll receive an automated message letting you know you’ve been connected to the service. A crisis counselor will connect with you as quickly as possible–which could be in as little as five minutes, depending on how much traffic they’re experiencing. Their goal will be to get you from a “hot” moment to a “cool” moment. They can also provide you with resources as needed. Conversations typically last 15-45 minutes.
    • How to connect: Text Crisis Line Website | Text “HOME” to 741741
  • Washington Recovery Help Line
    • What it is: Anonymous, confidential 24-hour helpline for Washington state residents experiencing substance use disorders, problem gambling, and/or mental health challenges. Trained staff and volunteers can offer emotional support and local resources. The recovery line can be contacted via phone call 24/7, or by text at the same number M-F 9am-9pm.
    • How to connect: The Washington Recovery Help Line | 1-866-789-1511
  • The Trevor Lifeline
    • What it is: The Trevor Project offers multiple forms of 24/7 support for LGBTQ youth who are in crisis, feeling suicidal, or just need a safe and judgement-free place to talk. You can connect with a trained counselor via the hotline, or through their 24-hour Trevor Chat, an instant messaging service available on their website. You can also text “START” to 678678 to connect with a counselor at any time.
    • How to connect: The Trevor Project — Saving Young LGBTQ Lives | 1-866-488-7386 | Text “START” to 678678
  • The Trans Lifeline
    • What it is: A hotline run by trans people, for trans people. The hotline can be accessed 24/7, on-call volunteer availability permitting, with guaranteed volunteer availability between 7am-1am Pacific time. Every operator identifies as transgender themselves, and can offer emotional support and resources to trans and questioning callers.
    • How to connect: Trans Lifeline website | 877-565-8860
  • RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline
    • What it is: RAINN offers 24/7 support for anyone who has experienced sexual violence. There is a phone hotline you can call at any time, as well as an online chat function. Both offer private, confidential support and are available in English and Spanish.
    • How to connect: RAINN | The nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization |1-800-656-5673
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    • What it is: The National Domestic Violence hotline is available 24/7 in 200 languages. There is also an online chat option available in English 24/7 and in Spanish from 12pm-6pm daily.
    • How to connect: National Domestic Violence Hotline website | 1-800-799-7233
  • YWCA Spokane Domestic Violence Helpline
    • What it is: 24-hour helpline for those who have experienced intimate partner domestic violence, answered by trained advocates and volunteers. YWCA Spokane’s helpline can assist with immediate safety planning needs and local resource information, including safe shelter options. 
    • How to connect: Call – (509) 326-2255 | Email – | Text – 509-220-3725 | Services
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • What it is: The National Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support to people in distress, loved ones who are concerned about someone else, or professionals needing guidance when working with clients in crisis. A call to this number will start with an automated message and some music while you are connected to your local center. Once you are connected, the person on the other line can provide supportive listening, basic crisis intervention, and resources. They also have help available for Spanish speakers, Deaf or Hard of Hearing populations, and via chat.
    • How to connect: 1-800-273-8255 | Ayuda En Español | Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Hearing Loss | Lifeline Chat 
  • LGBTQ Hotline
    • What it is: The LGBTQ Hotline provides vital peer support to help those in the LGBTQ community and offers guidance on issues ranging from coming out to bullying.
    • How to connect: 1-888-843-4564
  • White House VA Hotline
    • What it is: White House VA Hotline Calls are answered by a live agent 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The hotline is staffed by more than 60 agents who have had extensive training on VA programs and services. Most of these agents are a Veteran, military family member, caregiver or a survivor. The White House VA Hotline conducts immediate warm hand offs for at-crisis risk Veterans needing the services of the Veterans Crisis Line.
    • How to connect: 1-855-948-2311

By: Mia Morton

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