New crisis line is a first of its kind—created by and for Native people
Earlier this month, the Department of Health (DOH) announced the nation’s first Native and Strong Lifeline, which launches as part of the state’s 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The Native and Strong Lifeline is dedicated to serving American Indian and Alaska Native people.
Why create the Native and Strong Lifeline?
In 2020, non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native people in Washington had a 34 percent higher suicide rate than the rest of the population. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the barriers to care that Native communities face. As a result, during the pandemic, American Indians experienced higher suicide and overdose attempt rates—at least two times higher than that of non-Natives.
How to contact
To reach the Native and Strong Lifeline, call “988” and press 4.
Calls are answered by Native crisis counselors who are Tribal members and descendants closely tied to their communities. They are fully trained in crisis intervention and support, with special emphasis on cultural and traditional practices related to healing. The Native and Strong Lifeline offers a new way of healing that centers the lived experiences, traditions, and wisdom of Native people.
The Native and Strong Lifeline is confidential, free, and available 24/7.
When to contact
Contact the Native and Strong Lifeline if you or a loved one is experiencing:
- Thoughts of suicide
- Mental health crisis
- Substance use concerns
- Any other kind of emotional distress
“I chose to work for Native and Strong because suicide rates in Indian country are incredibly high and I want to remind my people that resilience is instilled into them. We, as the clinicians, get to be the voice many of us needed to hear. If I can save a life with a conversation, then I am happy to talk to as many people as I can.” – Heaven Arbuckle, Tulalip