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

New group wants to elevate Enumclaw voices in county discussions

The Enumclaw Plateau Community Association will be meeting with King County’s Director of Local Services Saturday, Jan. 19.

Is there a Sasquatch in Bonney Lake?

Plus, a trainload of drunk pigs in Buckley, a dark tower in Orting, and secrets of Enumclaw’s Pie Goddess in Dorothy Wilhelm’s new book, “True Tales of Puget Sound.”

Handful of major project coming Enumclaw’s way in 2019

From street improvements to pool decisions and trail expansions, Enumclaw is in for a busy year.

Residents at SeaTac’s Firs Mobile Home Park received a closure notice for October 31, but most have chosen to stay in their homes. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
South King County coalition targets affordable housing

Rent and housing prices hit south end communities hard; SeaTac, Tukwila, Kent, Burien, Renton and Auburn are working to create organization like Eastside’s ARCH

Cascadia Pizza Co. baker Stephen Hendrickson checks his pizza while waiting for business outside Headworks Brewing to pick up. Unlike many food trucks, Cascadia customers can watch everything its bakers do, since the oven is located on the outside. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
New pizzaria opens on Griffin

Cascade Pizza Co.’s ribbon cutting is 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19.

Microsoft will invest $500 million toward regional housing

Mayors of nine cities — including Auburn, Kent, Federal Way, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, Renton and Sammamish — have pledged to help

National honor for Bonney Lake’s Mathew Hunt

Bonney Lake’s Mathew Hunt, who graduated from Washington State University with a… Continue reading

Buckley Youth Center arrangements made official

The City Council and the Youth Center have worked side by side for many years.

UPDATE: Pierce County burn ban lifted | Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

The ban was lifted Wednesday, Jan. 16 at noon.

Most Read