Larson Goes Green

The Larson Building is lit up in green lights for May, which is mental health awareness month, a collaboration between Comprehensive Healthcare and Megalodon Property Management.

Comprehensive Healthcare in Yakima is hosting virtual events, putting up banners at its locations, and sharing client stories as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.

In Washington state, an estimated one in four people will experience a mental health illness at some point, but only about half of those will seek treatment, the agency said.

Jodi Daly, Comprehensive’s president and CEO, said COVID-19 has only increased the need to raise awareness about mental health.

Preliminary data has shown deaths by suicide in some counties in south-central Washington state have increased when compared to last year, while calls to Comprehensive Healthcare’s designated crisis response professionals have decreased.

Daly said communities likely will see increased needs for mental health services following the pandemic — including for grief, depression, and anxiety disorders — at the same time that the social, emotional, and financial impacts of COVID-19 will place additional stressors on the state’s stretched behavioral health system.

“It is clear that discussions about behavioral health need to take place well before a crisis occurs,” Daly said. “Our friends and family members need to understand that seeking help from a behavioral health provider when they are feeling sad or depressed is just as essential as seeing a medical doctor for a broken bone.”

Treatment services can help individuals become healthier, allow people to find jobs, remain out of the criminal justice system, graduate from high school or college, avoid repeated hospital visits, and lead healthy and successful lives, she added.

To learn more about the activities Comprehensive Healthcare is promoting throughout Mental Health Awareness Month or to learn more about their services, visit comphc.org.

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Reach Lex Talamo at ltalamo@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: @LexTalamo.