A Time for Debunking Myths, Exposing Stigmas, Making Progress

                In the twelve days since President Obama signed a proclamation making May, 2013 National Mental Health Awareness Month, I’ve been encouraged by news of progress being made in our state and in our country.  Washington state lawmakers passed a bipartisan package of wide-scope mental health bills that will ease crisis-level access to inpatient psychiatric care, reduce delays for mentally ill patients awaiting trial and give school staff better training to spot suicidal students.  In Washington, D.C., lawmakers have been quietly working across party lines on legislation that advocates say could help keep youth struggling with emotional, mental and behavioral challenges like Adam Lanza from slipping through the cracks.

                The tragedy of Newtown, Conn brought home the fact that, though very few violent crimes are committed by mentally ill people, the current time is the best opportunity for needed, real and lasting change to prevent such tragedies from happening again.

                We all have a greater part to play at this time. This year’s theme for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 5th– 11th) is Out of the Shadows: Exposing Stigmas. Join us in highlighting that theme throughoutthe month of May by wearing a green ribbon!  Shine a light to increase public awareness and visibility of substance abuse with us, during National Prevention Week (May 12th – 18th). This year’s theme is Your voice. Your choice. Make a difference. Come out to enjoy dinner and participate in the discussion on preventing underage drinking with GPS Tuesday night, May 14th, at the Renton Community Center, from 6pm to 7:30pm. It isn’t too late to reserve a table for you and your family. Register at http://goo.gl/F3vKp.  Or, simply give us a call today at (253) 236- 8264!

You can pick up your green ribbon at our May 14th event or come by our office any weekday this month between 8:30am and 5:30pm.  Share your inspirations and ideas for real change with us in person or here on our blog and tell us how you’d like to partner with us to support King County youth and families this month and throughout 2013. Let’s keep making progress together now and into the future!