September is National Recovery and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Dear fellow King County employee,
September is National Recovery and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and it comes at a time when anxiety and pandemic-fueled trauma are on the rise nationally after some recent improvements. At King County we have seen a similar trend in a recent survey of employee well-being and belonging.
I know this is a worrying time, with COVID-19 once again surging, new restrictions being put in place, and parents getting ready to send their kids back to school after so many months. We need to continue to pay particular attention to our mental health and the mental health of our loved ones, friends, and colleagues. Each year thousands of people die by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss.
Together we can play an important role in destigmatizing mental health by talking openly about it. We can help one another by checking in on one another. We can help by learning to recognize the warning signs and what resources are available to help people in crisis. We can help by caring for one another and being there with support in challenging times.
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:
- Mental Health Benefits and Resources for King County Employees
- Mental Health Accommodations for King County employees
- Mental Health First Aid Training
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Making Life Easier: 1-888-874-7290, 24/7 support available for King County employees and their families. Call to speak with a Making Life Easier counselor and receive help in a crisis, as well as get you or anyone living in your home set up with eight free sessions of counseling.
- Crisis Connections: 866-4CRISIS (427-4747), a 24-hour crisis line
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to connect with trained crisis counselors about anything that’s on your mind. Free, 24/7 and confidential
- For immediate crises, call 911 right away.
Watch for Recovery and Suicide Prevention events, activities, and educational opportunities throughout September where you can learn how to better care for your mental health and for the people around you. Together we can help break the silence and stigma, and spread the message that hope, help, and support are available.
Please continue to look out for yourself and for one another this and every month.
Whitney Abrams (she, her, hers)
Chief People Officer