In November, Washington launched the Native and Strong Lifeline, a crisis line dedicated to serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The new crisis line is accessed by dialing 9-8-8, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which was established by House Bill 1477 in 2021 and went live in July of this year.
Native staff who are trained in crisis intervention answer calls to this line. They are knowledgeable about cultural and traditional healing practices. In 2020, non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native people had a 34 percent higher suicide rate than the general population in Washington, so providing culturally competent care is an invaluable resource for our communities.