Executive Constantine proclaims June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month

Acknowledging that King County is a leader in advancing equitable policies and practices based on sexual orientation and gender identity, King County Executive Dow Constantine has proclaimed June 2023 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month. “I urge everyone to honor the fight against discrimination and the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people to our County and our society,” the Executive said in his proclamation. Read the full proclamation below.

KCSO Crisis Negotiation Team, Part III

Part I explored the evolution of the King County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT). Part II told the story of how a mental health professional became an official part of the team after years of volunteering. The final segment illustrates how they put it all together. An incredible partnership Over the last several years, there have been many improvements implemented in the partnership between TAC 30 and the Crisis Negotiation Team that have made KCSO into a leader in the crisis field. “We’re ahead of our peers in having a mental… Read More

KCSO Crisis Negotiation Team, Part II

Part I explored the evolution of the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT). Part II brings the story of how a mental health professional (MHP) became an official member of the team after years of volunteering. Part II: A mental health professional’s perspective “There was a suicidal gentleman on an overpass, just leaning and staring at the pavement below,” said mental health professional Susie Kroll. “We had to stop traffic for five or six hours.” The first 90 minutes were like talking to a wall, she added, but negotiators were able to convince him… Read More

Programs available to help get you on the path to feeling better

Several Health Support Programs are available to employees and family members covered by King County medical plans. These programs provide extra support when you need it, for example, when you need help understanding a new diagnosis, managing a chronic condition, or handling an illness. Program representatives may contact you by phone or email to provide additional information. A summary is provided below. For details, go to Health Support Programs. Omada Diabetes Prevention: Offered to Regence and Kaiser Permanente members If you or a family member are at risk for Type 2 diabetes,… Read More

KCSO Crisis Negotiation Team in the forefront of special operations, Part I

When the King County Sheriff’s Office TAC 30 team is called on, it’s because there is a potentially dangerous event that requires highly skilled personnel. Whether it’s an active shooter or hostage situation or virtually any serious case, TAC 30 — commonly called a SWAT team in most places — is sent in to secure and resolve the situation.  What’s unique about the KCSO TAC 30 is whenever they get a call, the Crisis Negotiation Team goes on alert. The Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) is a group trained in the fine art… Read More

Executive proclaims Emergency Medical Services Week

King County Executive Dow Constantine has proclaimed May 21-27 as Emergency Medical Services Week in recognition of the important work these medical professionals provide to our community, including saving lives, responding to crises, and serving as a model for the federal Emergency Medical Services System Act of 1973, now celebrating its 50th year. Executive Constantine encourages all residents of King County to show their gratitude and appreciation to these valuable providers. Read the full proclamation below.

Fourth Avenue entrance to King County Courthouse to close June 15, Third Avenue entrance will reopen

Starting June 15, the Fourth Avenue entrance to the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle will be closed for necessary repairs, and the Third Avenue entrance will reopen to resume serving as the primary access point to the building moving forward. Employees, jurors, and other visitors to the Courthouse Building should allow additional time to gain access and clear security screening on Third Avenue during this transition. Temporary signage will be installed to provide directions to users of the building. King County employees will still be able to access the Courthouse Building… Read More

Submit WA Cares Fund exemption letters to King County by June 26

The WA Cares Fund is a new long-term care insurance program administered by the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). With limited exceptions, workers in Washington are required to contribute to the WA Cares Fund via mandatory payroll deduction beginning July 1, 2023. The premium has been set at 0.58% of gross wages (58 cents per $100). The initial maximum value of the benefit will be $36,500 (adjusted annually for inflation). Exemptions to the WA Cares Fund You may be eligible for a… Read More

Mental health resources: Making Life Easier

For personal life challenges, Making Life Easier (MLE) provides free counseling and support services to all King County employees, their dependent family members, and anyone living in an employee’s home. MLE offers referrals to therapists and coverage for eight free sessions per topic per year. Many therapists also contract with the Regence and Kaiser Permanente Health Plans so MLE can make a referral for you to a therapist who is also in your health plan network. In that way, if you need more than eight sessions, your health plan benefits will cover… Read More

Mental Health Month: Creating a healthy home environment

This year, Mental Health America has focused Mental Health Month on encouraging us to “Look around, Look within,” sharing suggestions on ways to improve our surroundings in order to improve our mental health, and how to seek help for mental health challenges. Optimizing our space to improve our mental health is something that anyone can benefit from. It is one tool of many that can be used to improve and support your mental well-being. Go to the Balanced You blog for helpful some tips to shape your home environment, improve sleep quality and… Read More