New Partnership offers support for those with COVID stress

Eastern Washington University’s School of Social Work and Office of Community Engagement (OCE) are partnering with Priority Spokane to begin offering virtual COVID-19 Stress and Trauma Education Programing (C-STEP).

This work is made possible through a grant from the Innovia Foundation and support from Priority Spokane members. Using curriculum developed by the Center for Trauma and Stress Education, the partnership will create C-STEP groups that will provide community members with strategies and tools to help them better understand the impact of COVID-19 on their personal well-being. C-STEP will also offer skills to better manage the increased stress, fear, grief, anxiety, and/or lack of social support and increased social isolation that so many have experienced due to COVID-19.

“This is really an exciting and collaborative way to help people right now,” says Brian Davenport, PhD, associate dean for Honors and Community Engagement at EWU. “Because of the virtual nature of this partnership, we will be able to offer support both locally and in areas that traditionally don’t have access to these types of opportunities.”

Some of the C-STEP groups will be facilitated by EWU social work students. “This is a great opportunity for our students to apply what they are learning while also gaining valuable experience in the community,” said Amanda Reedy, PhD, professor, chair and director of the EWU School of Social Work.

Ryan Oelrich, executive director of Priority Spokane says the partnership makes sense for the community. “Priority Spokane is excited to partner with Eastern Washington University as we work together to address stress and trauma, and their resulting consequences in our community,” says Oelrich. “The tools, practices, and connections C-STEP groups provide are adaptable and easy to understand. Through this partnership we hope to make them widely available.”

Anyone interested in learning more about C-STEP groups can visit or contact Priority Spokane at

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