Each year tens of thousands of King County residents face the reality of living with a mental health issue. In any given year, 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness. For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded these issues. Now more than ever, it’s time to spread awareness about mental health, fight stigma, celebrate recovery, and provide support to those living with a mental health condition and their families.
This May, the Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (BHRD) joins efforts with Washington Recovery Alliance (WRA), NAMI Seattle, Climbing for Youth, King County Recovery Coalition (KCRC), and Washington Trails Association (WTA) to recognize Mental Health Awareness Month. We are taking this time to focus on the healing value of connecting is safe ways, prioritizing mental health, and promoting resilience and wellness.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are proud to announce #FreshAir4MentalHealth—an event to bring attention to the health benefits of being in nature, exercising, and safely connecting with community. On Saturday, May 22, 2021, you are invited to get outside with friends and family, take a self-directed walk or hike, or join others in recovery for a distanced group hike. You can learn more about this great event and way to get involved by visiting KCRC’s events page.
There are many ways to join in. You can participate in #FreshAir4MentalHealth on your own, with friends and family, or however works best for you. Enjoy the sunshine. Have a picnic. Use WTA’s Trailblazer App for inspiration to find a walk or hike near you. Don’t forget to share your thoughts, videos, and pictures from your time enjoying the fresh air with the hashtag #FreshAir4MentalHealth when you post on social media.
Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans’ lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. Mental health is essential for a person’s overall health. In a time where we are all facing additional life stressors because of the impacts of COVID-19 on our communities, it’s more important than ever to get creative with how we can thrive, grow our resilience and safely stay connected.
If you or someone you know is in need of support for a mental health or substance use issue, please contact our client services line at 1-800-790-8049 or Search for Behavioral Health Providers on our webpage. Our client services line is available Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. If you are in distress and need 24/7 confidential support, please contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Updated: May 19, 2021