Sitka behavioral health and social services providers have joined forces to create “Sitka Cares,” an initiative to provide support for families who’ve experienced a loss to suicide and to share local and statewide mental health resources. On the Morning Interview, KCAW’s Erin Fulton interviews Amy Zanuzoski from Sitka Counseling and Brenda Thayer, a telehealth counselor, about the initiative and how we can all access mental health support during a global pandemic.

Zanuzoski and Thayer provided these self-care tips:

  • Take time outside: walks, hikes, boat rides, etc.
  • Take time to journal or for any expression to get things stuck inside, out (i.e. writing, art, dance, etc.)
  • Seek help from a counselor or mental health professional if you’re feeling down, depressed or hopeless

Local and regional resources include:

  • Alaska Careline: 877-266-4357 or text ‘4HELP’ at 867-863 (limited hours of availability)
  • SEARHC:  877-294-0074 (helpline) or 966-2411 (mainline)
  • Alaska Responders Relief: 844-985-8275
  • Veteran’s hotline: 800-273-8255 or text crisis line 741741
  • We Are Native: 9779 (text only)
  • Sitka Counseling (virtual only): 747-3636
  • Online counseling platforms like Teladoc (need insurance) or BetterHelp (don’t need insurance)

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate help:

  • call 911 for emergency services
  • call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suidcide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)