Thanks to increasing talk in the mass media, we know the names of famous people who struggle with brain-related disorders. In small Pacific County a large proportion of residents have been touched by depression, traumatic stress, mood and substance disorders, and suicide. According to a new validated screening done at Pacific County Jail, 25% of the people booked screen positive for a serious mental disorder. An even more chilling statistic is that for 10 to 12-year-old children in Washington State, the current #1 cause of death is suicide. Numbers do not tell us everything, but they do indicate that we have work to do to keep our children and our communities safe.
We’re writing to you because of a unique chance to pull our communities together this May in support of community safety and mental health, two issues that are woven together in this county and affect almost all of us. Our upcoming Mental Wellness Walk May 12th brings together for the first time one local organization, Peace of Mind Pacific County, and a nationally-based project, the Stepping Up Initiative, working to reduce the number of people in jail who have brain illnesses and substance use disorders.
Bringing POMPC and Stepping Up together lets us connect our communities with the growing media attention to these issues. Our Walk for Action on May 12th will be preceded by a County Proclamation declaring May as Mental Health Awareness Month. We sincerely hope you will be supporting this important effort to raise awareness for Mental Wellness in our communities.
For more information about the Stepping Up Initiative feel free to contact Rosanne McPhail, Human Services Program Specialist for the Justice Mental Health Collaboration Program, at (360)642-9300 ext. 2172. For POMPC, please contact Barbara Bate, Vice President of Peace of Mind Pacific County, at BarbB@pompc.org