As 2005 comes to a close, I ask that you remember those in your family, neighborhood and community who live with a mental illness. Mental illness is a disease. Like any other, it is treatable, manageable and people do recover.
Thanks to the Legislature and governor’s office, the public mental health system fared better than forecasted in the past year. With thoughtful decision-making in Olympia, we have kept from having to make major cuts in public mental health services in the North Sound Region. However, we have a lot of work to do in the New Year. With concerns regarding stable and sustained federal and state mental health funding and increased state and federal mandates, the North Sound Mental Health Administration will work even harder with our stakeholders to ensure persons with mental illness receive the services they medically need and deserve. Even though our system is not perfect, our providers and clinicians are continuing to provide services that enable persons with mental illness to recover and live meaningful lives. Additionally, we could not continue our work without the help of people with mental illness, their family members and advocates for their continued persistence in creating a public mental health system that is accountable to the people it serves.
As you reflect upon 2005, and look forward to the New Year, remember those who have encountered the trauma of being displaced from their home, the effects of war, the loss of a loved one and the stress of our busier and busier lives. Those of us at the North Sound Mental Health Administration believe in, and work toward a Vision of Hope-Path(s) to Recovery for persons with mental illness. During this holiday season we ask that you keep your vision of hope and remember those on the path(s) to recovery.
Charles R. Benjamin
North Sound Mental Health Administration