Monday, November 18, 2019
6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall – 301 Mercer St, Seattle
Free and Open to All
Registration opens in September.
King County’s 2019 Behavioral Health Legislative forum will include:
- Opportunities for community members to connect with legislators and county councilmembers before the program.
- Remarks by King County Executive Dow Constantine.
- King County’s proposed behavioral health legislative priorities for 2020.
- Compelling personal stories from individuals in behavioral health recovery.
- The perspectives and priorities of legislators and county councilmembers.
For those who can arrive early, a fun and interactive Recovery in Action event will begin at 4:30pm before the forum.
To add the forum to your calendar, click “Add to Calendar” on the forum’s Eventbrite Page.
2018 Legislative Forum Participants by the numbers:
- Around 800 community members
- 17 state legislators & 2 county councilmembers
- 31 total federal/state/county legislative offices represented
- 15 legislators met informally with at least 175 constituents
- 53 community organization co-sponsors
- View the video of the 2018 Legislative Forum Program!
Our own Dr. Susan Caverly has once again been named as a “Top Doctor” in the area of Addiction Medicine – Psychiatry by Seattle Met magazine. Congratulations Dr. Caverly on this achievement and the well-deserved recognition for the quality of care you deliver to our patients!
Katrina has a problem. She’s spent the last 10 years coping with a heroin addiction. She’s suffered from her addiction, from her bipolar disorder, and she’s been on and off the street a number of times, dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. However, her co-occurring substance use and mental health condition and her lack of stable housing are not her
Katrina’s story is individual but it isn’t unique. Hundreds of patients are served each day at THS, many of which face the same challenges as Katrina. Each day our counselors are helping patients move past their respective traumas, an effort which is guided by evidence based care that is trauma-informed.
Trauma Informed Care makes safety the chief focus in working with a patient. As Lindsey Arrasmith, CDP puts it:
Trauma InformedCare is acknowledging that you’ve been through…some stuff. We can begin to separate you from that trauma, from that stuff, in a way that does not bring you down, that does not weigh you down, that does not prevent you from living your life. It empowers you to go achieve your dreams.”
Lindsey helped lead the effort to adopt Trauma Informed Care (TIC) throughout THS. She was taught about TIC at a previous position where she learned “Seeking Safety” ‑ the modality of care now used by all THS staff. “Seeking Safety” is an evidence-based practice developed by Lisa M. Najavits, PhD at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital. “Seeking Safety” teaches providers to work with clients to develop safety in all parts of their lives; relationships, behavior, emotions, and thinking. The modality can be used anywhere, by anyone, for anyone to help those in need to work through trauma and addiction problems.
Lindsey was deeply moved by her “Seeking Safety” trainings and as she incorporated it into her work, she was touched by how much it helped her serve patients. Working with a patient means going through their trauma with them and providers work hard to ensure this process is safe for their patients. “I think as clinicians we have this fear, especially in the beginning, of ‘What if I hurt someone?’ Having ‘Seeking Safety’ as a foundation, is a safety net” Lindsey said when asked how the modality works in her practice.
Care isn’t a cure, it’s a process. A person in care has to go through many challenges in treatment. Trauma-Informed Care and “Seeking Safety” helps guide care to ensure patients can recover and move toward leading better lives. Therapeutic Health Services trauma-informed care policy recognizes that “survivors need to be respected, informed, connected and hopeful regarding their own recovery.” Under the guidance of this new policy, all staff at THS are working together to create safe environments where patients are empowered to reach their own goals and make full recoveries.
We want to share Royale’s story with you. Royale was a client of our Youth and Families program. His story, in turning his life around, is a bright light that we hope brings you a smile. We serve many young people like Royale and we hope to share more stories like his with you in the coming year. Please consider making a gift today to ensure we can continue lighting up lives like Royale’s.
Your Information. Your Rights. Our Responsibilities.
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed, as well as your rights regarding this information and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
Effective Date: Jan 1, 2018
You have the right to:
- Get a copy of your paper or electronic medical record
- Correct your paper or electronic medical record
- Request confidential communication
- Ask us to limit the information we share
- Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared your information
- Get a copy of this privacy notice
- Choose someone to act for you
- File a complaint if you believe your privacy rights have been violated
You have some choices in the way that we use and share information as we:
- Tell family and friends about your condition
- Provide disaster relief
- Include you in a hospital directory
- Provide mental health care
- Market our services and sell your information
- Raise funds
Our Uses and Disclosures
We may use and share your information as we:
- Treat you
- Run our organization
- Bill for your services
- Help with public health and safety issues
- Do research
- Comply with the law
- Respond to organ and tissue donation requests
- Work with a medical examiner or funeral director
- Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests
- Respond to lawsuits and legal actions
When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights. This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.
Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record
- You can ask to see or get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you. Ask us how to do this.
- We will provide a copy or a summary of your health information, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee.
Ask us to correct your medical record
- You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. Ask us how to do this.
- We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing within 60 days.
Request confidential communications
- You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address.
- We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests.
Ask us to limit what we use or share
- You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment, or our operations. We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care.
- If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer. We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information.
Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared information
- You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why.
- We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We’ll provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
Get a copy of this privacy notice
You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly.
Choose someone to act for you
- If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information.
- We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.
File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated
- You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us using the information on page 1.
- You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/.
- We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.
In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:
- Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care
- Share information in a disaster relief situation
- Include your information in a hospital directory
If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example, if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.
In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission:
- Marketing purposes
- Sale of your information
- Most sharing of psychotherapy notes
In the case of fundraising:
We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again.
Our Uses and Disclosures
How do we typically use or share your health information?
We typically use or share your health information in the following ways:
To Treat you
We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.
Example: A doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition.
To Run our organization
We can use and share your health information to run our practice, improve your care, and contact you when necessary.
Example: We use health information about you to manage your treatment and services.
To Bill for your services
We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities.
Example: We give information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for your services.
How else can we use or share your health information?
We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html
Help with public health and safety issues
We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:
- Preventing disease
- Helping with product recalls
- Reporting adverse reactions to medications
- Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
- Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety
We can use or share your information for health research.
Comply with the law
We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we’re complying with federal privacy law.
Respond to organ and tissue donation requests
We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations.
Work with a medical examiner or funeral director
We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.
Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests
We can use or share health information about you:
- For workers’ compensation claims
- For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official
- With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law
- For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services
Respond to lawsuits and legal actions
We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.
- We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
- We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
- We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it.
- We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.
For more information see here: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.html
Changes to the Terms of this Notice
We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all the information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our web site.
When my daughter was younger, she’d love to watch Veggie Tales. I had a copy of one of her favorite VT videos. The title: Larry Boy and Fib from Outer space.
The premise of the story line focused on dishonesty vs. honesty. Each time Jr. Asparagus told a lie, Fib grew larger and larger. At the end, Fib became quite big and caused trouble for Jr. Asparagus. It was only when Jr. Asparagus realized he needed to tell the truth. Each time he spoke the truth, Fib decreased in size. A simple message for children. Yet, a fundamental principle truth for people in recovery.
In Sobriety Demystified: Getting Clean and Sober with NLP and CBT, author Byron A. Lewis, M.A. writes:
“…This clearly demonstrates a primary curative aspect of the Twelve steps program: the focus is not on the problem, but rather on the solution. …intrinsic to this step is a primary principle of Twelve Step programs known as rigorous honesty.”
What Lewis is referring to is the hard line truth: all individuals suffering from substance use disorder come to a place of admitting to the fullest extent the nature of their problems. In line with the First Step, Lewis remarks how it is the start of the process.
Power of Honesty and Admission of Powerlessness
A person becomes powerless because substance use becomes a pervasive, chronic, and progressive disease of brain reward and motivation. Lewis comments on how ongoing suffers of substance use tend to foster a tendency toward ignoring consequences of compulsory behavior. Instead, the individual believes they are capable of handling problems associated with their continued use.
While they may trust in their own confidence of managing problems, despite continued use, there is repeated failure in moderating, limiting, or controlling their actual use. Instead, problems become exacerbate. Continued use despite negative consequences.
As a moderately seasoned counselor, I provide the following information to my patients:
• Inability to manage when substances are consumed
• Inability to manage amount of substance use being consumed
• Inability to manage behaviors associated with being impaired/under the influence
• Inability to manage any withdrawal symptoms being experienced because of increased substance use
In Alcoholics Anonymous, one may even hear someone say, “I just can’t stop at just one drink”. That is because they are verbalizing the reality of their own inability to control how much, how often, and how they may behave once they take that initial drink.
It is this moment of clarity of being honest with self, a person may be able to start laying the foundation for a true recovery based program.
Power of Honesty and an unmanageable life
Not only has an individual become powerless over their substance use, their own lives have become unmanageable. This recognition is a second layer of the foundation. Another rigorous honest approach is the acknowledgement of the pervasive impact it has had on the individual sufferer.
Noah Levine writes this:
“For the addict in the midst of addiction, life is often a downward spiral that ends in incarceration, institutionalization, violence, loss, and death. Some may continue to function in seemingly normal ways – working, parenting, and participating in society – but an internal death occurs, a numbness arises, and they start to disconnect from themselves and from others. A wall of denial and suppression, too high and too thick to scale or break through, keeps others out and keeps the addicts in, trapped by [their] own defenses, prisoner to [their] own addiction (Refuge Recovery – Addiction Creates Suffering, pp 3-4).”
Levine continues with these points on how suffering manifests in an individual:
1. Stress created by craving for more
2. Never having enough to feel satisfied
3. Stealing to support continued substance use
4. Lying to hide ongoing substance use
5. Ashamed and Guilty of one’s behaviors
6. Feeling (belief) of unworthiness
7. Living in constant fear the consequences of one’s actions
8. Intense emotions of anger and resentment
9. Hurting other people and self
10. Intense hatred toward self and others
11. Jealousy and envious of others
12. Feeling victimized and/or inferior toward others
13. Selfish due to being needy and greedy
14. Lack of confidence toward genuine sense of happiness and wellness
15. Anguish and misery of being enslaved by continues substance use
The nature of unnecessary suffering (as Levine remarks in his book) is a battle between our desires for happiness verses our need for survival. In active substance use, it is merely about survival from one moment to the next. A person’s life is hyper focused on seeking out, obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of alcohol and/or drugs.
Levine makes this statement on how one’s recovery is fundamentally founded on the principle of honesty:
This is a process that cannot be skipped or half-assed. The foundation of our recovery is a complete admission and acceptance of the suffering that we have caused and experienced due to addiction.
Levine continues how this rigorous honesty needs to happen in order to do away with any shred of denial, minimization, justification, or rationalization. It is a principle truth that requires a radical honest approach toward healing. This radical honest approach encompasses two truths:
• Come a complete and total understanding of the reality of our own suffering and negative impact substance use has had on our lives.
• Accept the reality and truth that it is because of our continued substance use that is the causation for our own suffering.
Through our admission and acknowledgement, and by embracing the reality, that because of ongoing substance use, one has become powerless and life had become unmanageable.
Power and nature of honesty leads toward freedom
Embracing the reality of our suffering. Admission to our sense of powerlessness and inability to manage life is the precursory means to establish an abstinent based recovery program. An individual begins to experience freedom by striving toward physical sobriety. Once physical sobriety is achieved, an individual begins the honest and rigorous work toward emotional sobriety.
Physical sobriety is the ability to establish and sustain a life without alcohol and/or drugs. It is the ability to manage and cope those symptoms of withdrawals. Maintaining daily empowerment to implement alternative ways to manage cravings that may lead back toward substance use. It is the ability to regain the power of volition of making daily decisions not to drink or use.
Emotional sobriety is more rigorous in bringing an individual face to face with their own inner turmoil. Learning how to manage intense emotions. Becoming empowered to move toward healthier relationships, financial stability, regain a peace of mind, finding meaning and purpose, rediscovery of core values and beliefs, and practicing a healthy lifestyle. It is a process of transformation and restoration of our true sense of identity.
Through emotional sobriety, a person regains the ability to manage their own emotions. This does not mean we fake it till we make it, or, force ourselves to think positively all the time. It means we are honest with ourselves when it comes to the nature of our own emotions: Positive or Negative. If we are not managing our emotions, our emotions are managing us and we end up not doing well. We fall short because we return back to our old behaviors.
Summary of thought
Like Jr. Asparagus, a person suffering substance use creates a life that is dishonest. It becomes a rather large beast in our lives. The only way we are to bring ourselves back to a right way of living is by a radical and rigorous honest approach. The more we engage in being honest with self, the smaller and insignificant our own suffering becomes.
And, while it does not free ourselves from the consequences of our substance use. It empowers us to face those consequences in order to regain mastery over our own lives.
If you are struggling with substance use, Therapeutic Health Services offers a variety of treatment options for you. Please contact any one of our branches to schedule an assessment with one of our qualified counselors. We offer regular intensive outpatient, outpatient, relapse prevention, MAT-Methadone, and MAT-Suboxone.
September is the month for National Suicide Prevention and National Recovery
Therapeutic Health Services provides therapeutic approaches to assist individuals with substance use disorder, mental health related issues, and provides our patients with resources to assist in their recovery efforts. As an agency, THS promotes awareness, prevention, and advocacy when it comes to Suicide, Mental Health related issues, and Substance use disorders. Our clinical staff are trained to assess and work with patients who present with suicidal ideation.
For the month of September, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. This is accomplished through awareness, connections to resources, and providing safety planning conversations with those patients struggling in their recovery.
The National Suicide Lifeline’s message is #BeThe1To
- Ask – Based on research, individuals with suicidal ideation feel relief when someone asks, in a caring way, whether they are having thoughts of self-harm. These findings, also, indicate that by acknowledging and discussing suicide may help reduce, rather than increase, suicidal ideation.
- Keep them safe – Studies indicate that when lethal meals are made less available, or less deadly, suicide rates by those methods may decline, and frequently suicide rates overall decline.
- Be there – Listen without judgment helps reduce a person’s feelings of depression, feeling overwhelmed, and less suicidal. They tend to be more hopeful after speaking with someone.
- Help them stay connected – Studies show that by helping someone at risk creates a network of resources and individuals for support and safety may help them take positive action and reduce feelings of hopelessness.
- Follow up – Studies indicate that brief, low cost, intervention and supportive, ongoing contact may be an important part of suicide prevention, especially for individuals after they have been discharged from hospitals or care services.
For more information and to participate in the National Suicide Prevention Month, visit Promote National Suicide Prevention Month’s Website.
If you are feeling suicidal, contact THS to speak with a qualified professional staff, or contact the local crisis lines that operate 24/7:
- Everett – Volunteers of America Care Crisis Line 425-258-4357 (help) or 1-800-584-3578
- Seattle – Crisis Clinic of King County 206-461-3222 (for teens, 206-461-4922)
- Or, 1-800-SUICIDE
Additional contact numbers for Washington Suicide hotlines.
September is also National Recovery Month that is sponsored by SAMHSA. This year’s theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community. The focus is on exploring how integrated care, a strong community, sense of purpose, and leadership contributes to effective treatments that sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders. Read more about Recovery Month and how you are able to participate.
Join Team Happy Feet at the 2018 NAMI Walk
THS is proud to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the 2018 NAMI Walk. Head to Marina Park in Kirkland on June 2nd and join other THS supporters in raising funds for a worthy cause. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9.
Visit https://www.namiwalks.org/team/teamhappyfeat to register.
As a peer support specialist I find great comfort in the connections that I make working with consumers. That shared experience is so valuable in being able to relate to each other, when it feels that there is no one else could possibly understand what you are going through. To know that another person has been there and will not judge you, can provide some relief to the isolating effects that mental health symptoms can give. I firmly believe that I am not alone anymore because I am a member of my mental health community. Through this community I have become stronger and recognized the importance of seeing recovery from multiple perspectives.
Learning about perspective was a difficult experience for me. As a seasoned “self preservationist” I have always been slightly self -centered, mostly as a coping skill to protect myself. I did not think about how other people felt, I could only see my own pain. Not good qualities for an effective peer. Little did I know that I would soon begin a new adventure with the most unlikely of company.
My beautiful son.
When I was younger I did not want to have children. I was afraid that I would not be a competent parent because of my symptoms or worse; to have them taken away because I had a mental illness. I am happy to tell you that I was wrong; having my son has enriched my life in ways that I did not expect. Becoming a mother has been an amazing odyssey; it has taught me more about myself and how I look at the world.
As a single mother I have had challenges, however I quickly learned to re-frame these into ways I could teach my son to see value in every opportunity and correlate them to mental health recovery. I would like to share some of what I have learned. Whether you are a parent or not, these tips can be beneficial to ones mental health recovery and I use them in the support groups I facilitate:
Recognize your strengths
When you are struggling with a mental illness, your strengths are the last thing on your mind. Make a list of things you like about yourself or areas you excel. You can ask for help in the other areas you need support.
Support not solve
It’s easy to want to just fix a problem for someone as a way to support but remember the old saying “Give a man a fish; you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; you feed him for a lifetime.” The same can be said for mental health recovery; supporting people in empowering their own recovery and wellness has more impact when it comes from within them.
Self care is essential to maintaining wellness
Don’t over extend yourself beyond your limits. Create a daily maintenance list to help you keep track of all of the things you need to do in order to stay well and to work on the areas that need extra support.
Language influences how we see ourselves
When I meet people for the first time as a peer specialist I always say; “I am not my diagnosis” which I absolutely believe. However it wasn’t until about two years ago I realized just how deeply this phrase affected how I look at my perspective. I was disciplining my son because he took something that didn’t belong to him and he asked me, “Mommy am I bad?” I thought about what I would want someone to say to me. Am I a product of the choice I have made? Do my choices define me as a person? I told him that he is just a person, that people can make choices, sometimes those choices have positive and negative consequences. And if we are lucky we can find value even in our less than successful experiences.
I am grateful for these observations that I have gleaned in my time so far as a mother but I think it’s important to note that being a mother also does not define me as well. Being a parent dealing with mental illness can be all-consuming, it can make you feel like you are losing your identity. Making time for yourself strengthens your recovery and enhances the health and well being of the entire family.
Monday, November 18, 20196:00 – 8:30 p.m. Seattle Center Exhibition Hall – 301 Mercer St, SeattleFree and Open to AllRegistration opens in September. King County’s 2019 Behavioral Health Legislative forum will include: Opportunities for community members to connect with legislators and county councilmembers before the program. Remarks by King County Executive Dow Constantine. King County’s proposed behavioral health legislative priorities for 2020. Compelling personal stories from individuals in behavioral health recovery. The perspectives and priorities of legislators and county councilmembers. more..
Our own Dr. Susan Caverly has once again been named as a “Top Doctor” in the area of Addiction Medicine – Psychiatry by Seattle Met magazine. Congratulations Dr. Caverly on this achievement and the well-deserved recognition for the quality of care you deliver to our patients!
Care isn’t a cure, it’s a process. A person in care has to go through many challenges in treatment. Trauma-Informed Care and “Seeking Safety” helps guide care to ensure patients can recover and move toward leading better lives.
We want to share Royale’s story with you. Royale was a client of our Youth and Families program. His story, in turning his life around, is a bright light that we hope brings you a smile. We serve many young people like Royale and we hope to share more stories like his with you in the coming year. Please consider making a gift today to ensure we can continue lighting up lives like Royale’s. Support Patients Like Royale Please consider more..
Your Information. Your Rights. Our Responsibilities. This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed, as well as your rights regarding this information and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully. Effective Date: Jan 1, 2018 Your Rights You have the right to: Get a copy of your paper or electronic medical record Correct your paper or electronic medical record Request confidential communication Ask us to limit the information we share more..
When my daughter was younger, she’d love to watch Veggie Tales. I had a copy of one of her favorite VT videos. The title: Larry Boy and Fib from Outer space. The premise of the story line focused on dishonesty vs. honesty. Each time Jr. Asparagus told a lie, Fib grew larger and larger. At the end, Fib became quite big and caused trouble for Jr. Asparagus. It was only when Jr. Asparagus realized he needed to tell the truth. more..
September is the month for National Suicide Prevention and National Recovery Therapeutic Health Services provides therapeutic approaches to assist individuals with substance use disorder, mental health related issues, and provides our patients with resources to assist in their recovery efforts. As an agency, THS promotes awareness, prevention, and advocacy when it comes to Suicide, Mental Health related issues, and Substance use disorders. Our clinical staff are trained to assess and work with patients who present with suicidal ideation. For the more..
Join Team Happy Feet at the 2018 NAMI Walk THS is proud to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the 2018 NAMI Walk. Head to Marina Park in Kirkland on June 2nd and join other THS supporters in raising funds for a worthy cause. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9. Visit https://www.namiwalks.org/team/teamhappyfeat to register.