SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward has created a task force to bring mental health awareness to the greater Spokane community.
“This isn’t my wheelhouse. I’m not an expert on mental health,” Mayor Woodward said. “But, I know my mental health has suffered during the pandemic, just like everyone’s. By bringing the experts together so that number one, we can increase awareness about the mental health services and resources that we have here that people just don’t know about. So there’s an awareness campaign component to that. And also reducing the stigma associated with mental health.”
The Mayor’s task force on mental health held its first meeting last week. The group’s three dozen members show a robust list of people representing Spokane’s education, health care, youth services and government officials from the region.
That includes congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and state representative Marcus Riccelli.
Mayor Woodward says the goal of the task force is education, connecting people to resources, identifying needed resources and finding ways to fund them
One challenge the group already identified is the shortage of regional mental health counselors.