Politics was part of nearly every conversation at King County’s crisis phone line.
Politics was the talk of coffee shops, downtown chatter and throughout the news media Tuesday evening and Wednesday.
The topic was also part of nearly every conversation at King County’s 24-hour crisis- line phone bank during the same time period, said Kathleen Southwick, the crisis center’s executive director.
“Virtually every call had political context,” Southwick said. “I think they will continue on.”
She said callers are “confused” and “their emotions are jumbled.”
“A lot of the people are feeling isolated. They’re watching TV by themselves and feeling very alone,” she said. “We’re trying to empathize with them and provide support.”
Michael Reading, director of crisis services at the clinic, said the volume of calls to the crisis line was normal, but some callers were relaying personal experiences triggered by election news.
Issues of sexual assault and relationships abuse were frequent topics of recent phone calls, he said.
“Sexual aggressiveness with women by an elected official — if people have that experience in their own life, that’s upsetting,” he said. “If things are being triggered or you’re upset about stuff, talk about it.”
Southwick said it’s important to reach out to those who might be feeling alone by “listening, empathizing, reflecting” and then discussing “what they can do and what they can control.”
She encouraged anyone feeling despair over the election result to call.
“It is a safe place to call,” she said.
People can reach the crisis center at 206-461-3222.