APS is partnering with Cigna to provide a school support line for eight high schools and programs as a pilot. The schools participating initially are:
- Washington-Liberty, Wakefield, Yorktown, Arlington Community High School, Arlington Career Center, H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, Langston and New Directions.
APS is exploring the expansion of the program to additional schools. The support line is available now through September 30 to provide a vital resource for crisis support and referral support. It is available 24/7/365 to students age 14 and over, staff and parents. Staff on the line are trained in crisis response and can help in English and Spanish and can link callers to local resources. Other languages are available through the Language Line. Help is available by calling 833-Me-Cigna (833-632–4462).
Experts on call
The School Support Line will be staffed by advocates who are trained in interacting with school students, parents and school staff. Based on the needs identified by the advocates, the caller will be triaged to crisis support, community support or counseling by phone with a licensed Cigna clinician. This includes support for incidents such as bullying, isolation, and suicidal thoughts. If a student is actively suicidal with means and a plan, advocates will contact the local authorities to go to their location.
Anonymous and confidential
All calls to the School Support Line will remain anonymous. The School Support Line advocates will ask callers what school district they are enrolled with and the age of the student. No other formal verification will be done for access to the School Support Line. There are no questions about legal status or documentation. All calls will be recorded.
The school sites that volunteered to participate in this pilot will be distributing more information about this service to their school communities through email, flyers and other means.