Frequently Asked Questions

1. I don't live in Flagstaff. Can I still access the counseling services?

No matter where you live, simply call the Helpline -- 1.877.44WHALE -- to begin the process. You’ll be given the option to find a provider in your area. We’ll ask that she/he get in touch through the Helpline and we’ll take it from there.

2. I already have a therapist. Will the Whale Foundation reimburse me for use of my own therapist?

Have your therapist be in touch through the Helpline. It’s likely arrangements can be made to assist you.

3. When should I apply for the Kenton Grua Memorial Scholarship?

The process opens February 1st, and closes May 15th.

4. When should I apply for the Health Insurance Assistance Program?

The process opens February 1st, and closes May 15th.

5. Do I have to be suicidal to use the counseling services? Do I have to be really depressed to use the services?

Absolutely not. Our counselors see clients for an array of challenges: family and relationship concerns, trauma, grief or loss, anxiety and depression, or for concerns around substance abuse.

6. Who is eligible for these services?

Grand Canyon guides, their immediate families, and employees of Grand Canyon outfitters. If you are uncertain your status is eligible, give us a call. We're here to help and will do all we can for you.

7. Who do I contact to access these services?

Our Helpline: 187744WHALE

8. Are the counseling services really free?


9. How can I donate to the Whale Foundation?

Directly through our donate page or by mail, or during our Year End Appeal campaign, by attending our Wing Ding fundraiser event in February, or by purchasing a calendar in the fall.

10. Can the Whale Foundation help me with my physical medical problem?

Give us a call. We just may have some resources that can help.

11. Will the Whale Foundation help me pay for medical treatments?

No, but we CAN work with getting you assistance on a sliding scale.

12. Who am I talking to when I call the Helpline?

Initially, you’ll simply leave a message with your name and number with an offsite answering service. That service will inform one of our case managers of the call, and within a few hours, that case manager, who is a licensed counselor, will be in touch with you.

13. I don't have Health Insurance. Can the Whale Foundation still help?

Yes. Our services are available even if you don't have insurance.

13a. I want Health Insurance. Can the Whale Foundation help?

Yes. We have resources in town who can help with walking you through that process, and our own Health Insurance Assistance Program can ease the discomfort of taking on that new financial responsibility.

14. Is there someone I can talk to about continuing career opportunities?

Yes. We have a group of mentors from many careers who have been guides and have made the move to other things. Simply call the Helpline and explain your situation and you’ll be put in touch with the right person.

15. Can the Whale Foundation help me find winter work?

We are continually building our network of support for the guiding community, and that includes building a resource list around off-season work. Until it’s posted on the website, be in touch with our Executive Director at 928.774.9440.

16. I'm intimidated and unsure about calling the Helpline.

We understand. No one would say asking for assistance is easy. You can turn away our assistance at anytime, but at least take the first step. Be heard, and see where things go from there. It’s completely confidential. And check out our Testimonials page to hear from others who were also daunted by the thought of making that first call.

17. What should I expect when I call the Helpline? What will the case workers ask me? What are we going to talk about?

A simple conversation around the challenges you're dealing with. The case manager's hope is to match you with the counselor best equipped to assist you.

18. Do I have an opportunity to provide feedback about my counseling experience with the Whale Foundation?

You WILL have the opportunity to confidentially submit feedback about any part of your experience, both early on and at the end. We encourage you to do so. You can also provide feedback through our Join the Conversation page.

19. What kind of therapy do you offer? Do you offer couples therapy?

We have counselors who can see you (and/or your family) for any and all concerns you may have.

20. How can I get help for a friend I'm concerned with?

By knowing how it works. Call the Helpline and speak to a case manager about how you might help with someone struggling with an issue. Understand, for someone to receive services from the Whale Foundation, he or she must make the request personally through the Helpline.

21. I've only worked in Grand Canyon a couple of times as as baggage boater. Can I still access these services?

Yes. If you’ve worked your way through Grand Canyon with a commercial company, our services are available to you.

22. If I call the Helpline, how quickly will I get into therapy?

Depending on the availability of the counselor you are matched with, it could be as quickly as a day or two, but maybe as long of a wait as a week or more. It depends on that counselor's availability.

Yes. We serve the guide population, no matter the need.