May is Mental Health Month and a quick review of the numbers shows why we need the focus. Mental illnesses in the United States affect tens of millions of people each year with one in five individuals being diagnosed with a mental health disorder in their lifetime.

Mental health issues don't just pile up after a lifetime of hard living. Statistics show  17 percent of youth (six-17 years old) will experience a mental health disorder.

Our state may be the Evergreen state which conjurs up an image of lush green tranquility but that doesn't mean we are without our own fair share and more when it comes to mental illness.  Unfortunately  is three out of every seven people in Washington will likely experience a clinically significant mental illness throughout 2021, with that number expected to rise in the coming years.

And then there is the Coronavirus pandemic. There is grief and depression over loved ones lost  and there is a growing body of research indicating roughly one in three COVID-19 survivors also experience psychological and neurological issues.

As part of the educational effort Comprehensive Healthcare will be provide five different community education classes for local employers, healthcare professionals and community members at large.

On May 18, Comprehensive Healthcare is holding a free, virtual Suicide Awareness for Everyone (SAFE) training.

On May 20, there will be a Facebook Live event on the Comprehensive Healthcare Facebook page called “Ask Me Anything”. Clinicians and a peer support counselor will discuss commonly asked questions about mental health and substance use as well as  therapy, mental health symptoms, crisis situations and more.

At noon on May 25,  Comprehensive Healthcare will host a free and virtual Cumulative Stress, Self-care and Resilience training workshop at . These trainings offer helpful skills essential to recognizing and responding to individuals in crisis, or knowing how to approach a co-worker, family member or friend about mental health concerns. To sign up for these events, visit comphc.org/events.

Comprehensive Healthcare recently launched myStrength app which is free to anyone in the community to consider their own mental health and wellness.and can be accessed by visiting the myStrength website or downloading the app.also urges everyone  Visit comphc.org/news to learn more.

Courtney Hesla from Comprehensive Healthcare was a guest on KIT's Morning news radio show to talk about promoting a better understanding of mental health issues.