Advocates want to identify how to aid mental health population

EVERETT — As lawmakers prepare to head back to Olympia this month mental health advocates want to talk with them about plans to improve services and to explore ways to fix gaps in the system.

Two nonprofit mental health advocacy groups are hosting a legislative forum Monday in Everett. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Snohomish County and the county’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health have invited state and local lawmakers to discuss service needs and plans to fulfill those needs.

The public is invited to attend.

“This is an opportunity for elected officials to get input from the community,” said Jim Bloss, a volunteer with NAMI.

The panel is expected to include state Sen. John McCoy and state Reps. Mary Helen Roberts, Hans Dunshee and June Robinson. Former County Councilman Dave Gossett also is expected to attend along with other local elected officials.

The moderated discussion will center on community mental health and chemical dependency services, Bloss said.

“This doesn’t happen inside a vacuum. All levels must work together,” he said.

The forum also is expected to include an exercise to help community members be better advocates for those living with mental illnesses or in need of chemical dependency services. That will include ways that people can better communicate their concerns to lawmakers, Bloss said.

In Snohomish County, Executive John Lovick recently convened a panel to explore ways to better serve people living with mental illnesses. Meanwhile, Sheriff Ty Trenary has began looking at alternatives to locking up nonviolent mentally ill people caught up in the criminal justice system. He also has started talks with mental health providers and service agencies about better coordinating efforts to connect inmates with programs that may reduce their risk of return before they are released from the jail.

Monday’s forum is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sanders Building in the central conference room at Compass Health’s Federal Campus, 4526 Federal Ave., Everett.

For more information, contact Bloss at 425-231-5186.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Spikes put end to ride from Seattle to Everett in stolen car

Two men were taken into custody at the bottom of Marine View Drive off I-5.

Two more suspects identified in shooting death of casino winner

The two, who have ties to Everett, Mount Vernon and Bellingham, remain at large.

Water to be shut off for some homes, districts next week

The pipe closing will affect mainly the Snohomish and Monroe areas.

Section of W. Marine View Drive will be closed Saturday

A footbridge is being torn down between Everett Ave. and the Naval Station entrance.

Faith Calendar for Feb. 24 to March 10, 2018

EVENTS Purim banquet: Chabad Jewish Center of Snohomish County holds a “Purim… Continue reading

Everett council defers decision on methadone clinic zoning

Councilmembers asked to see more information on potential options in the weeks ahead.

Front Porch

A main strip of Everett’s waterfront… Continue reading

House passes ban on bump-fire stocks

If the Senate approves, Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign it into law.

Man charged with rape, manslaughter of teen dying from overdose

Brian Roberto Varela’s arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

Most Read