Find Therapists and Counselors in Seattle, WA | Page 19

Find a Therapist in Seattle, WA

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Nestled between beautiful Lake Washington and Puget Sound, Seattle is home to over 600,0001 residents, a vibrant music scene, and delicious coffee. This breathtaking city, located in King County, offers residents endless entertainment, lush surroundings, and a skyline that is rivaled only by its natural scenic backdrop. The outdoors beckons residents to indulge in fishing, hiking, camping, and other activities, while downtown Seattle lures citizens and visitors with its engaging array of shops, businesses, and entertainment venues. Well-known for its cool, wet weather, Seattle is also recognized as the birthplace of many musicians and genres, including grunge music. The city draws thousands of visitors every year to its sporting events, tourist attractions like the Space Needle, and festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival.

Mental Health Statistics
According to the Washington Department of Health, 9% of King County residents reported having more than 14 poor mental health days in any month in 2004 and 20062. Between 2009 and 2011, there were an average of 500 cases of domestic violence for every 100,000 residents3. From 2005 through 2010, 19% of Seattle metropolitan area adults reported using illicit drugs, with 7% misusing prescription pain relievers. During that same time, 7.5% of all adults reported having symptoms of depression, and 9.3% reported having a substance abuse problem4.

Promoting Recovery and Resilience in King County
In November of 2012, King County approved a new ordinance focusing on improving recovery and promoting resilience among all its residents5. With the understanding that recovery is a process, the county chose to focus on the journey of recovery and how to best accommodate the needs of residents with mental illness. Using a multi-prong approach, the five-year plan targets employment counseling, peer support, mental health services, counseling, violence reduction, family focus, child welfare, housing, medication, and substance abuse to help residents achieve recovery and resilience.

The new ordinance will complement the existing architecture of services provided by the county and the city that include broad coverage for mental health care and precision programs for specific issues. The Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program addresses the needs of residents with serious mental illness. ACT is designed to provide a continuum of care to ensure clients can receive the services they need within their community. ACT aims to reduce criminal involvement by intervening with appropriate mental health care, transitional housing, and other assistance.

The mental health needs of children and family are handled through a variety of channels, including wraparound services, Children's Crisis Outreach Response System, long-term inpatient programs, and juvenile justice liaison services. Families can also benefit from various programs that target specific needs related to parenting, addiction, and abuse, among others. Two unique initiatives allow for cross-system continuity, providing seamless behavioral health services in King County. They are the Cross Agency System Trainings and the King County Systems Integration Initiative. Together, they bring awareness to multi-modal care and integrate information relating to services received by children, youth, and families throughout the county6.

1 Department of Planning and Development. (2013). Population and Demographics. Retrieved from

2 Washington State Department of Health. (2013). Health of Washington State: Mental Health. Retrieved from

3 Washington State Department of Health. (2013). Health of Washington State: Domestic Violence. Retrieved from

4 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2012). Substance Use and Mental Disorders in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue MSA. Retrieved from

5 King County. (2013). Mental Health Services: Recovery. Retrieved from:

6 King County. (2013). Mental Health Services: Children and Youth. Retrieved from: