The Washington State Department of Health has announced a campaign designed to address the growing mental and emotional health consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. To help people across the state build resilience and begin healing,A Mindful State harnesses the greatest resource the State of Washington has: the people themselves.
A Mindful State is fueled by the lived experiences of people across our state sharing personal stories of their own struggles and triumphs. It offers practical advice from experts and advocates in mental health as well as well as a growing list of resources people can use to find help and hope.
“This campaign offers a people-powered experience,” explains Lyle Quasim, member of the Governor’s Social Supports Community Leaders Group, “A Mindful State has woven together a rich tapestry of personal stories and expert advice that show each of us that we are not alone, but part of something bigger than ourselves—and connected to each other in ways we never realized.”
An estimated 50 to 60 percent of Washingtonians (three to four million people) are expected to have clinically significant mental and behavioral health symptoms resulting from the impact COVID-19 has had in their lives and communities. The clinically significant designation describes symptoms that are substantial enough to impair social, occupational or other important areas of functioning. “When something is impacting half our population, it is no longer an outlier issue,” professed Kira Mauseth PhD, a clinical psychologist and Co-lead of the DOH Behavioral Health Strike Team.
The program is available at www.amindfulstate.org.
“The issue of mental and emotional well-being is a serious and growing concern,” notes Sonya Campion, Social Supports Community Leaders Group Chairperson, “but the good news in these statistics is that they suggest there are three to four million more folks who are also in a position to lend a hand and help people who are struggling. We want to encourage people to simply reach out and check in with five people a week. You don’t have to be an expert in mental health to make a difference — you have to be there for people, listen to their concerns and help them know you care,” Campion said.
A Mindful State is supported by an integrated, multi-platform communications campaign designed to reach everyone in Washington State — particularly people who have been historically underrepresented. Everyone has access to the resources of A Mindful State and people everywhere are encouraged to listen, learn and share their own stories. The goal is to give people a voice and, by doing so, build towards a healthier and resilient Washington.
A Mindful State offers access to proven resources and advice from experts and advocates for mental and behavioral health. The content and materials shared by A Mindful State are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for obtaining professional help for people who are in crisis. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please dial 911 or dial the Suicide Prevention Lifeline on (800) 273-8255. If you feel you are in crisis yourself, connect with the Crisis Text Line by texting HELLO to 741741.