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UW Combined Fund Drive

October 10, 2020

October is Mental Health Awareness Month

October is Mental Health Awareness Month

Struggling in quarantine? You are not alone. Seven months into a pandemic, life in isolation has triggered feelings of anxiety, hopelessness and depression for many around the globe.

Despite these difficult times, it is important to remember that help is still available. The UW Combined Fund Drive is proud to partner with many organizations that provide invaluable resources to cope amidst the pandemic.

Due to health guidelines, many mental health services have shifted from in-person to virtual. Although this may seem daunting, there are positive aspects to this adjustment. Those in crisis can quickly access virtual care. Therapists now lead sessions through video calls, allowing their clients to curl up in bed and cuddle with their pets while speaking vulnerably.

The University of Washington is an incredible resource for those needing extra assistance while social distancing. The Whole U  provides excellent information and activities for the UW community. October is National Yoga month, so The Whole U is offering daily meditation and yoga classes to allow folks to decompress from daily stressors. One can register to celebrate Yoga Month with The Whole U and they will provide daily 15-minute yoga breaks, yoga classes and a free month subscription to Athletes for Yoga.  Find more information at UW Yoga Month 2020. Find The Whole U entire class schedule here.

UW Spiritual CareUW CareLink and Forefront Suicide Prevention are among other mental health services offered by the UW. Seated in the Department of Spiritual Care at Harborview Medical Center and UW Medical Center, UW Spiritual Care offers culturally sensitive emotional and spiritual support, regardless of religion, faith, or spiritual tradition. UW CareLink “connects you with experts who help you or your family members navigate life’s challenges.” UW Carelink is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 866-598-3978. Forefront works to prevent suicide through education, healthcare and advocacy.

Forefront Suicide Prevention describes that some of the warning signs of suicide to look for in an individual are: “Talking about wanting to die, talking about feeling trapped or wanting to escape, showing anger or irritability, becoming isolated and withdrawn, feelings of being a burden to others and no interest in favorite things.” If you see or feel any of these tendencies, “Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1.800.273.8255). Text the Crisis Text Line at 741741 with the person you are concerned about. Call 911 if the concern presents immediate danger.” Reaching out for help may be uncomfortable, but it has the potential to save a life.

October 10th is World Mental Health Day and is a great reminder to check in with yourself and those around you. Notice severe changes in daily behavior and personality, as this may be an indicator of a shift in an individual’s mental health. Some other common signs that you or a loved one may be struggling with a mental illness can be found here.  If you are worried about yourself or someone else, see a professional, learn more about mental illness or call the NAMI HelpLine at 800-950-NAMI (6264).

If you struggle with mental illness, you are not alone. NAMI reports that about 1 in 5 adults struggle with a form of mental illness. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, but there are also countless resources to manage depression. Therapy, medication and self care are all part of a healthy treatment plan. Seek help if you need it and reach out to others if you feel they do.

NAMI has compiled many helpful resources to help those having a difficult time during the pandemic. Find them here.

COVID-19 Information and Resources

How you can help

Nonprofits and the UW provide essential mental healthcare. Consider setting up payroll deduction for one of our many partners:

FREE2LUV is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering, uplifting, and saving the lives of youth through the arts.

Harborview Mental Health Services Located three blocks from the main hospital at Harborview Medical Center, Mental Health and Addictions Services (HMHAS) at Harborview provides integrated mental health and chemical dependency services in an outpatient setting. Services include crisis intervention, psychiatric evaluation, psychotherapy, group treatment, case management, and geriatric psychiatry services, as well as treatment for individuals for co-occurring chemical dependency and mental health disorders and patients with comorbid medical issues.

LifeWire is on a mission to end domestic violence and create a world where every person lives in a safe environment, free from oppression and with the opportunity to thrive.

NAMI started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an association of more than 500 local affiliates who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

Recovery Cafe was founded on the knowledge that every human being is precious and beloved regardless of past trauma, mental and emotional anguish, addictive behaviors or mistakes made.

University of Washington Counseling Center Support Fund provides mental health counseling, outreach, prevention programming, and crisis intervention for enrolled students at no financial charge.  Our goal is to reduce the likelihood that a student will not succeed academically or professionally due to life events or circumstances.  The Counseling Center also provides consultation for parents, faculty, staff, and students who are concerned about the well-being of a UW student.  The Counseling Center is a part of Student Life.

University of Washington Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences With more than 1,000 faculty, staff, and trainees, our department serves a five-state region known as WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho). We enjoy many of the same qualities as our Pacific Northwest home: a deep appreciation for the beauty and the diversity of our region and its people and a spirit of discovery and innovation. We are an integral part of the University of Washington, a leading global university, and of the UW School of Medicine, a top ranked school in research and in primary care. We are dedicated to improving the health of the public through research and discoverytraining the next generation of health professionals and researchers, and improving the lives of individuals and populations.

Contributed by Elise Glaser, UWCFD Campaign Assistant