September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and National Recovery Month

Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer, King County Executive Office

This month, as we observe National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and National Recovery Month in King County, we’re highlighting the importance of mental health and wellbeing to our ability to live well and thrive.

When we lose someone to suicide, it has a deep and profound effect on us. We can all help prevent suicide, and during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, I encourage you to learn how to recognize the warning signs and what resources are available to help people in crisis.

For National Recovery Month, we join others around the nation in celebrating the millions of people who are in recovery from mental health and substance use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective and people recover.

Inspiring stories of those building a life in recovery are found all around us—at work, at home, and in our communities. This year’s national theme is “Together We Are Stronger,” and I am proud of our collective strength and the powerful ways we support one another every day.

In this year’s Employee Engagement Survey, we asked about workplace stress for the first time, and more than half of employees said they feel excessively tense or stressed out at work. That number shows that we need to be mindful that stress at work is real and can affect the way that we act and feel.

Effective and compassionate resources are available for you, a loved one, or a colleague, 24 hours a day, and many people have found hope and support through them:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • Making Life Easier: Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-888-874-7290 (for King County employees and their families). Making Life Easier has counselors available 24/7 and can help in a crisis as well as get you or anyone living in your home set up with counseling (8 free sessions).
  • Crisis Connections: 24-hour crisis line:  866-4CRISIS (427-4747).
  • Crisis Text Line: Text trained crisis counselors about anything that’s on your mind. Free, 24/7 and confidential. Text HOME to 741741.
  • For immediate crises, call 911 right away.

You can also download this resource sheet to learn more about mental health benefits, programs, and self-help tools available to you.

Please look out for yourself and for one another this month and every month, and know that help is always available and recovery is always possible. Together, we can do even more to spread the message that hope, help, and support are available. Together we are stronger.




Whitney Abrams,
Chief People Officer