PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson Board of County Commissioners and Port Townsend Mayor Deborah Stinson both proclaimed this week to be “Mental Health Awareness Week.”
The proclamations were made Monday during the commission’s morning session and the Port Townsend City Council’s evening meeting.
Both proclamations were made with the help and partnership of the Jefferson County branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which had a delegation at both meetings.
The official length of the proclamation is from last Sunday to this coming Saturday.
Both proclamations hope to help raise awareness to the issue of mental health and help abolish of the stigma of seeking treatment to help with mental illnesses.
One in five Americans have or will experience mental health problems in their life, and death by suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the second leading cause of death in young adults, the commissioner’s proclamation said.
Ninety percent of people who die by suicide had demonstrated symptoms of a mental health condition, the proclamation said.
To help raise awareness of mental health, NAMI is hosting a free movie night showing “The Public” at noon Oct. 27 at the Rose Theatre at 235 Taylor St. The seating is first-come-first-served.
During the commission meeting, President Valerie Phimister thanked the commissioners for working with the group on the proclamation and spoke about the recent mental health resources that have been developing in the city and county such as Port Townsend Police Navigator Jud Haynes and the Recovery Cafe being built by Dove House.
Both proclamations hope the residents of Jefferson County will become educated on metal illness and seek treatment if needed, to help end the stigma.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at [email protected].