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Issues that Matter series tackles mental health

The Daily Herald - 2/3/2018

MARYSVILLE — Events at local libraries are tackling the topic of mental health.

Veterans' mental health, addiction and substance abuse and how to help loved ones struggling with mental illness are among the subjects for upcoming forums.

The gatherings, which feature panels of experts on each subject, are part of the Issues that Matter series put on by Sno-Isle Libraries.

Polls showed that mental health is one of the biggest concerns for people living in communities served by Sno-Isle, said Michael Delury, managing librarian for the Lynnwood Library, during a recent forum. That discussion, on Jan. 25, was focused on "Care for Alzheimer's Caregivers," and it drew a crowd that exceeded the 60 chairs that were set out. Panelists were from the Alzheimer's Association, Northshore Senior Center, Homage Senior Services and Verdant Health Commission.

"By joining us tonight, you help in building a stronger understanding of the topic and also a stronger network of support," Delury told the audience.

Additional forums aim to continue building understanding and support around different aspects of mental health.

The most recent event in Snohomish County was Tuesday at the Monroe Library. The subject was veterans and mental health. That will be the topic of conversation again Feb. 22 in Mill Creek.

The hope is that these forums can spread information not only to those who are living with mental health issues, but also to the circle of people in their lives who care about them, according to moderators and panelists.

"For mental health in particular, it becomes really about the family and friends that help support the individual in getting help and getting onto that pathway of support," said Donald Lachman, special projects coordinator for the state Department of Veterans Affairs, during the Monroe forum.

There are five Issues that Matter forums planned in February:

Mental Health Resources in Island County: 1:30 p.m.Feb. 5 at the Coupeville Library,

788 NW Alexander St.

• Addiction and Substance Abuse:

6:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at Mariner High School in Everett,

200 120th St SW.

• Caring for Someone During a Mental Health Emergency: 6:30 p.m.Feb. 13 at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley, 565 Camano Ave.

Veterans and Mental Health: 6:30 p.m.Feb. 22 at Mill Creek City Council Chambers, 15728 Main St.

• Helping Friends or Family with Mental Health Issues: 6:30 p.m.Feb. 27 at the Granite Falls Library, 815 E Galena St.

Upcoming events are expected to be livestreamed on Facebook at facebook.com/SnoIsleLibraries, and the videos should be available for viewing online afterward at sno-isle.org/issues-that-matter. The videos from past forums also are available to watch online.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

 
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