GIVING BACK. Sherry Harrison spoke at the Navos Mental Health Solutions' 4th Annual Bigger than Breakfast June 6 at the Grand Hyatt. She received a standing ovation as she shared her battles with mental illness, & help received from Navos. She now teaches wellness recovery and computers there, and trains new peers. SLIDESHOW. CLICK ON PHOTO FOR MORE.
SLIDESHOW: NAVOS Mental Health Solutions holds Bigger than Breakfast event
SLIDESHOW. CLICK ON PHOTO FOR MORE.
Navos Mental Health Solutions held its 4th Annual Bigger than Breakfast June 6, at the Grand Hyatt downtown. Meeghan Black of KING 5 TV's Evening Magazine emceed. Speakers included Navos CEO Dr. David M. Johnson, board member Don Warren, former client and current Navos employee, Sherry Harrison, and former Seattle City Council Member and former King County Executive, Randy Ravelle. It was announce that Seattle Children's Home (SCH) and Navos will merge.
A video featuring children in recovery at Navos was shown, funded by West Seattle-based Personal Safety Nets, co-founded by North Admiral's Judy Pigott. They offer seminars at Navos to "handle life's challenges and changes", and "help others learn to replace fear and isolation with security and connection", according to their website.
The West Seattle Navos facility is at 2600 SW Holden St. Its new Mental Health and Wellness Center at Ambaum and 136th St. in Burien was highlighted. Its grand opening is planned for September or October. It will provide 45,000 square feet for specialized services on three floors. The 13.5 million dollar campaign total for the Mental Health and Wellness Center is almost reached. There is about $470,000 to go.
Rep. Bob Hasegawa
"I'm here to help support NAVOS which is doing great mental health work in the community," said Rep. Bob Hasegawa, 11th District. "As a state we recognize that and help procure money for their new facility. It's a better alternative than putting all the people we're not providing mental health coverage for in jails, using jails as sort of de facto mental health facilities."
Navos CEO Dr. David M. Johnson
"The City of Burien has bent over backwards to help us succeed," Dr. Johnson told the Robinson Newspapers before his speech. "We employ 500 people, and soon, 600 people. The Burien City Council, Manager, Mayor's office, and the people involved in putting together the permits, couldn't have been more invested in the social good we're doing."
In his speech, Johnson said, "Among the innovations located in the new (Burien) center is a primary medical health clinic. Many clients haven't seen a doctor in years, partly because of their psychiatric symptoms and also because they're not comfortable in the traditional medical setting.
"We have completed the first floor, and are building out the second two floors, and also completing the second building on site, the activities center, and cafe. Our new facility will allow us to see triple the number of kids that we see at this time. Navos has created a support group for teens who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or who are questioning their identity. This encourages teens to develop their leadership skills and self-esteem. The kids named their group 'POW' for 'Proud, Out & Wonderful.'"
He said such (LGBT) teens who lack support are more prone to depression and suicide.
Emcee Meeghan Black
"The mere mention of mental illness can make a lot of people really a little bit uncomfortable," Meeghan Black began in her speech. "People just don't know how to approach this or how to discuss this. If you consider that nearly half of all Americans at some point in their life will get some form of mental illness for a certain period of time, that's pretty shocking. It's that stigma and shame that prevent families and individuals from seeking treatment for themselves, or recognizing it, or seeking treatment for their children, whose (symptoms) often go unrecognized.
"Poverty contributes to the stress of mental illness and to the barriers of seeking treatment," she said. "We are here today to acknowledge that mental illness can and does happen to all kinds of people, to good people, from all walks of life. Thanks to organizations like NAVOS, there is hope. Treatment does work and people do recover. Every child and adult can live a good and productive life with a mental illness as long as we can assure that they have access to treatment and support."
Former KC Exec. Randy Revelle
Randy Revelle reminded the audience he had suffered from bipolar disease while serving in City Council, which was highly publicized at the time.
"In September, 1977, I experienced a traumatic mental health crisis, with symptoms of bipolar disorder," he said. "My father, a King County superior court judge for 29 years, played a major role in my recovery," he added. "He helped me overcome the health insurance discrimination that existed then to help me receive an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. He helped me navigate the gauntlet of the complicated health system and avoid the criminal justice system. NAVOS has agreed to honor my parents, George Henry Revelle, Jr., and Evelyn Hall Revelle, and will dedicate in their honor a public assembly room to be named Revelle Hall next to the new mental health center in the activities center. They would be very pleased."
Sherry Harrison spoke of her personal battles with mental illness, and the help she received over the years from Navos. She now teaches a basic computer class there. She also teaches wellness recovery, and trains new peers. Many in the audience teared up during her passionate speech, which earned her a standing ovation.
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