The Whale Foundation offers free, confidential counseling services to the Grand Canyon river guiding community to address some of the challenges and uncertainties facing many river guides. If you'd like to speak with someone for assistance or would just like to know more, please don’t hesitate to call our Helpline.  Someone will get back to you, usually in a few hours. 

In recent years, our clients have seen professionals for help with

  • family/interpersonal issues
  • substance abuse concerns
  • anxiety or depression
  • grief and loss
  • on river and work related issues

How The Helpline Works:

When you call the number below, you will be directed to an answering service. Leave a message with your name and phone number and a professional case manager will return your call. If applicable, the case manager will put you in touch with a counselor and we'll take care of the rest.

All cases are confidential. No one but the case manager and the counselor providing services will know you're being seen.

Confidential 24/7 Helpline: 


For emergencies, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline:


 Photo: Kyle George

Photo: Kyle George

I would like to encourage anyone who finds themselves thinking “I don’t want to live like this,” to call the Whale Foundation helpline. Sorting out our uncomfortable feelings and emotions is a necessary part of growing.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and what I learned from my personal train wreck was worth the ride. I encourage anyone struggling to consider the journey, and the Whale Foundation is a great start.
— Whale Foundation Client
In the beginning, calling the Helpline felt like failure to me. I should be strong enough to do this on my own. It was awkward, at first. But in the end it was so worth it, so incredibly worth it.
The Whale Foundation put me in touch with a remarkable counselor and the process of healing, acceptance and yes, forgiveness began, and with this help I started to see my joyful, kind self again.
— -Whale Foundation Client
 Photo: Joe Bennion

Photo: Joe Bennion

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can access these services?

Grand Canyon guides, their family members, or any employee of an outfitter

2. What happens when I call?

You'll leave your name and phone number on a recording with a call service. That service then passes that information to our case manager, who will be in touch with you, usually within a few hours. After a simple conversation around what challenges you are facing, the case manager will put you in touch with the counselor best suited to assist you.

3. Will anyone know I called for help?

Only the case manager. Your information is not shared with the Whale Foundation. Your case will be assigned a number (the date you call the Helpline, mmddyy) and that date is used by counselors and case managers to keep things confidential. This is to ensure those seeking assistance from the Whale Foundation are not known by those who volunteer for the foundation (board members, executive director, etc).

4. How much will it cost me?

It is ENTIRELY free

5. Can I receive services if I live outside of Flagstaff?

Yes. Our case manager will instruct you to find a counselor in your area. That counselor should in turn be in touch with the case manager and arrangements will be made to have the Whale Foundation cover the costs of services.

6. I'm a baggage boater. Can I use these services?

More than likely. Although our resources are finite, we want to help. Give us a call and we'll consider your situation.

7. Can I call in to help a friend?

You can call to hear how you might help a friend, but an individual must ask for help themselves before being contacted by a case manager from the Whale Foundation.

Banner Image: Michael Collier