by Ashley Archibald
Mutual aid practitioners who have long worked with homeless individuals have called on the Seattle City Council to disavow We Heart Seattle (WHS), a volunteer group that removes trash from homeless encampments across the city. WHS’s critics insist the group has illegally removed belongings, focused more on cleaning up sites rather than the welfare of unsheltered residents, and used inappropriate tactics to remove people experiencing homelessness from public spaces.
Continue reading Volunteer Group That Removes Trash From Homeless Encampments Draws Criticism
by Andrew Engelson
In an online news conference Friday morning, Governor Jay Inslee announced — almost exactly one year to the day after he issued an order closing schools statewide to confront the rise of COVID-19 — that he will sign an emergency proclamation requiring all K-12 students in the state be provided with some in-class learning by the end of April. The order requires that by April 5, all students in grades K-6 must be provided a hybrid model of instruction with at least some in-class learning, and by April 19, all students in grades K-12 must be provided some in-class instruction.
Continue reading Governor Inslee Orders All Students To Have Option of In-Class Instruction by April 19
by Liz Covey, LMHC
Question: I’ve been trying to get in to see a therapist for months now, and I can’t even get a call back much less find someone who takes my insurance. What else can I do if I can’t find a therapist with an opening soon? I’m afraid I will get more depressed as time goes on without some help. But I’m also wondering if I should think outside the box for other options right now, since nothing is working out. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated.
Continue reading Ask a Therapist: Alternatives to Therapy During Tough Times
by Bri Little
At the end of February, in partnership with WA Therapy Fund Foundation and The Root of Our Youth, KCTS 9 put on an event called “Well Beings: Centering the Mental Health of Black Youth.” The event is part of a virtual Well Beings Initiative “tour” that features young leaders across the U.S. who are working to destigmatize mental illness in their communities.
The night’s event was hosted by Deaunte Damper, vice president of the WA Therapy Fund Foundation. He facilitated a discussion that delved into the topics of daily trauma that Black youth endure due to racism, the stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment, and how young Black people can advocate for the services they deserve.
Continue reading Centering the Mental Health of Black Youth
by Marcus Harrison Green
(The following is adapted from a presentation given as part of Town Hall Seattle’s Spirited Stone event. The event, which featured Shin Yu Pai, Charles Johnson, and Nathan Wirth, can be viewed here.)
As a lifelong Seattleite (a lifelong South Seattleite, actually), I was asked to share what Kubota Garden means to me. Now that’s a pretty simple question — with a very hefty answer, given my relationship with the garden that has ranged from when I was a teenager to today.
Throughout that time, Kubota Garden has epitomized the most powerful one-syllable word in the English language.
Continue reading Reflection: Home Is a Place Called Kubota Garden
by Ashley Archibald
In a video posted to YouTube, a woman in a blue surgical mask stands in the corner of a walled-off yard, a puffy, slate gray jacket zipped against the cold. To her right is a table draped with a white cloth holding 19 votive candle holders. Slowly, deliberately, the woman reads a list of names.
In the silence following each name, a man lights a candle.
Continue reading A Hard Year for Those Without Shelter: Death Rates Rose and Pressures Increased for the Homeless During the Pandemic
by Andrew Engelson
The day after Gov. Jay Inslee announced he was extending the state’s current COVID-19 restrictions by one week until Jan. 11, officials from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) said during an online press conference on Wednesday, Dec. 30 that they are cautiously optimistic about statewide infection trends and that vaccinations for high-risk health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities are ongoing.
“We are in a very precarious position,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, state epidemiologist for communicable diseases. “This is the highest rate of cases in Washington State since the beginning [of the pandemic]. But we’re starting to see this downward trend. It’s all very encouraging.” Lindquist noted that while the results are still preliminary, the number of positive tests across the state have plateaued slightly in the past week. He also noted that post-Christmas hospitalization rates are down slightly, saying “I’m optimistic but cautious.”
Continue reading State Health Officials Cautiously Optimistic as COVID-19 Rates Hold Steady and Vaccination of Health Care Workers Continues
by Alexa Peters
Before COVID-19, Ballard resident Gracey Cockram lived the busy, fulfilling life of a stay-at-home mom. On a typical day, she’d wake up early, get her 15-year-old daughter up for swim practice, shuttle her to the pool with friends, come home, check the news, take a shower, do the laundry, go to the gym, go to the grocery store, walk the dogs, drive her daughter to a part-time babysitting gig, then begin to prepare dinner.
These days, despite living in a 900-square-foot condo with her fiancé and daughter, Cockram spends a lot of time alone, feeling “defeated” — and it’s no wonder. Her once-active 15-year-old now remains in her room for nearly twelve hours a day studying for her AP classes, and has since become prone to anxiety and worrying emotional outbursts. After holding out for months, Cockram and her fiancé were forced to reschedule their June 2021 wedding due to the pandemic. Cockram’s extended family in Florida has stopped talking to them due to disagreement about how to handle COVID-19. And now, she can’t even get out of the house for a trip to the gym for an important kick of endorphins.
Continue reading As Pandemic Drags On, Parents Cope With Mental Health Challenges
by Suhani Dalal
Since the start of the global pandemic, one Seattle therapist said that roughly 90% of her new clients are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), compared to before, when about 70% were white.
“There are so many people coming into therapy for their first time — first in their family, first in their history,” said Asian American psychotherapist and codependency therapist Ivy Kwong. “I always tell them: ‘I’m so grateful you’re doing this work, it’s not easy, but it’s the most important work I believe you can do in this lifetime. The work you are doing [honors] your entire lineage because it will heal past and future generations.’”
Continue reading How Seattle Therapists Make Space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
by Liz Covey, LMHC
Question: I think this year might kill me. What can I do to survive the seemingly never-ending onslaught of bad news?
Continue reading Ask a Therapist: How Not to Drown in the Deluge of the Negativity That Is 2020