If you need immediate help, please call the Washington County Crisis Line at 503-291-9111.
Loneliness & Isolation
What is loneliness and social isolation?
Whereas social isolation can be measured by the number of personal contacts a person has, loneliness is the subjective feeling of distress that results from a lack of social contact and/or meaningful relationships. Older adults are particularly at risk.
Social isolation and loneliness are both associated with negative physical and mental health consequences.
Are you lonely? Take this quiz to find out if you or someone you know may be feeling lonely or isolated, Connect2Affect Quiz.
Do you know someone experiencing isolation or loneliness?
Oregon Senior Peer Outreach Line: 1-833-736-4676
Weekly phone-based support and connection with Community Support Solutions. This free service is available to Washington County older adults (55+) experiencing loneliness and isolation. Participants are matched with a trained Peer Support Specialist and receive scheduled weekly phone calls. Se habla espanol.
Oregon Senior Loneliness Line: 503-200-1633
Volunteer warm line available 24/7 with Lines for Life. Trained volunteers offer support and connection at any time for older adults experiencing loneliness and isolation. Available in multiple languages.
Suicide risk increases with age. Older adults with depression visit the doctor and emergency room more often, incur higher outpatient charges and stay longer in the hospital. Depression is treatable.
Mental Health Matters
COVID-19 Community Counseling Program
Washington County Has a COVID-19 supportive counseling program. The COVID-19 Community Counseling Program (CCCP) is a partnership between Washington County, Lifeworks NW, Western Psychological, Asian Health and Service Center, and Lutheran Community Services NW. CCCP provides support to Washington County community members who need help related to the pandemic. Core services include:
- Supportive counseling with an emphasis on developing coping skills and resilience.
- Support in understanding personal reactions, planning action steps, and developing solutions to resolve losses and overcome difficulties.
- Referral and connection to longer-term behavioral health care if needed.
Services are provided at no charge. Linguistically and culturally specific services are also available.
How to get help:
To request an appointment, email COVIDCounseling@co.washington.or.us or call Washington County Behavioral Health at 503-846-4528.
This is not a crisis line, and you will not be able to speak with a counselor right away. It is also meant to be short-term assistance (a few sessions per individual). If you need immediate help, call the Washington County Crisis Line at 503-291-9111 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Call 9-1-1 for life threatening emergencies. More resources are available here:
Tips for reducing anxiety
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs. Attend live, online exercise classes for free with Washington County and the Juanita Pohl Center: https://www.tualatinoregon.gov/recreation/virtual-adult-fitness-health-wellness-programs.
- Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks
from watching, reading or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others using technology. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Do you need help accessing technology in order to connect with your community? Call the ADRC at 1-855-673-2372 to find out more about technology access resources available to older adults in our community.
- Keep things in perspective. Maintain a sense of hope, purpose and positive thinking as much as possible. Remember, this crisis will end. In the meantime, Get Trained to Help Others in need.
Grief is a natural response to loss. Many people in our community are currently grieving the loss of daily routines, jobs, financial stability and a sense of security. Some community members may be grieving the loss of a co-worker, friend or loved one. This grief may include not being able to mourn in ways we are familiar with, such as attending funerals or memorial services.
Here are a few ways to cope with grief:
- Acknowledge your pain.
- Understand that grief can bring many different and unexpected emotions.
- Seek out virtual support.
- Limit isolation (we know this is difficult to do right now).
- Take care of your health with good nutrition, physical activity and getting enough sleep.
With so many people in our community experiencing grief it is important to know that you are not alone. There are additional resources and support available to help you.
No cost programs for help with late-life depression
Program to Encourage Active Rewarding Lives for Seniors (PEARLS) and Resolve:
- Eight sessions of in-home counseling followed by series of telephone-based support by counselor or peer mentor.
- Teaches depression management techniques, goal setting, problem-solving and social activation.
- Free for Washington County residents 55+.
Contact Oregon Senior Peer Outreach for more information on PEARLS at 1-833-736-4676.
How do you connect with someone who is isolated or lonely?
Washington County Writes
Help a young person write a letter or draw a picture and send it to an isolated older adult in your community. Click here to learn how you can participate.
Do you work with a group of older adults who would appreciate a friendly card from someone in the community? Contact Kera_Magarill@co.washington.or.us to get connected to letter-writers for your group.
Timeslips Creative Engagement™
As a Certified Creative Community of Care™, Washington County is proud to offer Timeslips™ Creative Engagement Training for Professionals and Community Skill Building
How do you conenct with someone who is lonely? What would a conversation look like with someone who is dealing with the challenges of dementia? Timeslips™ is a program that teaches creative engagement techniques that help inspire connection with our neighbors, clients and loved ones through joyful non-judgmental, open-ended communiction. Learn how to reframe everyday interactions into opportunities for meaningful connection, storytelling and creativity.
Learn how to create more community. Contact us at OABH@co.washington.or.us to request a training. Timeslips™ is great for:
- Family caregivers
- Aging Service Organizations
- Intergenerational groups
Watch a short video and learn more about Timeslips™ at https://timeslips.org
Connection in Action!
Want to see how we're using Timeslips™ in our community? Check out Washington County DAVS' 2020 Virtual Art Show: Bringing the Outside In. Read about the project here.
We are currently recruiting care communities for teh 2021 Art in Place Exhibit. If you would like to nominate a care community for this project, please contact Kera_Magarill@co.washington.or.us.
Meaningful Community Engagement
Stay connected. Proximity doesn't equal connection. Many faith communities, senior and community centers and libraries offer programs and activities with others over the phone or by video. Attend a Death Café or Age Café with Washington County and the Beaverton Library to learn about and discuss interesting and relevant topics. Check the DAVS Community Calendar for current event listings.
Support Groups and Older Adult Programs with NAMI Washington County
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) works with Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services to provide support, education and programming to older adults experiencing loneliness, isolation, ansiety or depression. Learn more about what's available at https://washconami.org.
More resources for older adult behavioral health:
Hoarding Task Force and resources for excessive clutter collecting.
Suicide Prevention classes and training requests at Get Trained To Help.
Death Cafe, talk about death, learn about life, eat cake.
Project Visibility for LGBTQ+ Older Adults, training for groups and organizations, email Kera Magarill.
We have more information on dementia, loneliness, and older adult mental health! Connect with us to find a training that meets the needs of your group or organization.