Almost 20 elected officials and their staff plan to attend the 2018 forum to hear from constituents. Above, attendees share their thoughts with Senator Bob Hasegawa at the 2017 Behavioral Health Legislative Forum. Contributed photo

Almost 20 elected officials and their staff plan to attend the 2018 forum to hear from constituents. Above, attendees share their thoughts with Senator Bob Hasegawa at the 2017 Behavioral Health Legislative Forum. Contributed photo

How to improve our democracy after the midterms | Public Health Insider

If you haven’t voted yet — do it. Afterward, attend the 2018 King County Behavioral Health Legislative Forum on Nov. 8.

  • Monday, November 5, 2018 3:08pm
  • News

The following was written by Hannah Johnson for Public Health Insider:

If this year’s surge in voter registration tells us anything, it’s that King County residents are eager to make their voices heard. And thanks to our friends at King County Elections, voting have never been easier. To all those who have already voted (and if you haven’t, get on it!) we have great news: you don’t have to wait until 2020 to feel the sweet satisfaction of participating in democracy again. In fact, your next opportunity is right around the corner at the 2018 King County Behavioral Health Legislative Forum, aka the biggest night of the year in behavioral health.

This powerful event brings lawmakers, people in recovery, and other community members together to talk about how we can work together to support people in recovery. Mental health and substance use disorders touch all of our lives in some way, and the forum is your opportunity to meet directly with lawmakers to let them know your opinion on mental health and addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery.

If the opportunity to make your voice heard and participate in democracy wasn’t enticing enough for you, here are 5 more reasons you should attend this year’s forum.

1. Share what matters to you

The forum begins with a public reception and dedicated time for constituents to meet informally with state legislators, county council members, and legislative staff. It’s a chance to sit down directly with your legislator and share what matters most to you, your family, and your community when it comes to mental health and substance use. Click here to see the list of elected officials who plan to attend.

2. Learn what we’re working on this year

Every year, King County partners with our elected officials to improve our service systems and tackle our challenges together. As part of the forum, we’ll announce King County’s legislative priorities in behavioral health. These are the things we’ll be working on with our state and federal elected officials, like improving access to community-based treatment or preserving the protections of the Affordable Care Act.

3. Help fight stigma about mental health and substance use

Sharing with your friends, family, and community how substance use and mental health impact your life or your loved ones puts a face to an issue that is too often stereotyped or misunderstood. These conversations can save lives. When we change how individuals, communities, and systems see and treat people with substance use or mental health conditions, we make it easier to find help and maintain hope that recovery is possible.

4. Did we mention you can sit down with your legislator?

This one is worth repeating: Almost 20 elected officials and their staff plan to attend, and they really want to hear from you.

5. Celebrate people in recovery

We celebrate birthdays, we celebrate anniversaries, we even celebrate made-up social media #holidays. On November 8, it’s time to celebrate the thousands of people in our communities who are in recovery or on a journey toward it. We can’t wait to see you there.

Click here to learn more and register for the forum on Thursday, Nov. 8, from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall (301 Mercer Street).

Planning to attend? Tweet your reason for attending this year’s forum and tag #KC4Recovery.

More in News

Expect a vote on new Bonney Lake water, sewer rates

On Nov. 13, the Bonney Lake City Council may finally settle an issue they’ve been researching for two years.

East Pierce sends aid to California first responders battling fires

Three local firefighters are expected to reach the Woolsey fire later today, Nov. 12.

Nearly two million Washingtonians at risk of diabetes | Department of Health

But 10 out of 11 people are unaware they live with prediabetes.

Children’s entertainer Eric Ode to lead workshop

Register now, because space is limited.

Citizens can weigh in on Enumclaw budget, property tax rate

Public hearings on the budget will be held Nov. 13 and Nov. 26.

East Pierce Fire and Rescue, Pierce County Library System nearly ready to celebrate midterm results

As of Nov. 14, both property tax proposals have just inched past the finish line, but with ballots still to be counted, it may be too early to count those chickens.

Conversations about climate change | Pierce County Library System

Through November and December, various PCLS libraries are offering free climate change-related events and workshops.

Sexual assault resource centers report high call volumes

At an Oct. 23 fundraiser, the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center told its donors it saw a 300 percent increase in calls to its 24/7 hotline in the week following the Kavanaugh hearings.

Most Read