Hidden heroes: when family members serve as caregivers
Family caregivers often are long-term, unpaid caregivers for loved ones living with cognitive diseases that impair memory, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s — a leading cause of death in Whatcom County.
Pro and con viewpoints on Whatcom’s Public Health, Safety and Justice Sales and Use Tax proposition
Commentary: Supporters and opponents speak out on Whatcom County’s Public Health, Safety and Justice Sales and Use Tax ballot proposal to fund a new jail and behavioral health, supportive housing, public safety and other criminal justice facilities and services.
Four of six Whatcom executive candidates respond in forum
Responses in a candidates forum from four (of six) vying for Whatcom County Executive sketched out four differing perspectives on how to serve.
Shortage of mental health care providers hits home locally
“Not a pretty picture”: Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties — like elsewhere across the country — are seeing a shortage of mental health care providers, and not enough are in the training queue.
Modern conservation corps meshes care for land, health for youths
Youth Conservation Corps in the Salish Sea region offer a prescription for youths’ mental, cultural and spiritual health — and a means to care for the land.
Jail needs to change, community agrees; but how?
An advisory committee for the Justice Project aims to ensure that voters’ priorities are considered in the next Whatcom County Jail ballot measure.
A most interesting job
Commentary: Meet Sandy Hart, who may have one of the most interesting jobs in Bellingham.
Some progress but gaps remain in mental health care for Whatcom adolescents
Summer services in the Bellingham and Nooksack Valley school districts aimed to fill gaps with a new option this year: mental health therapy.
Schools assess safety protocols after shootings, threats
Recent school shootings and threats have renewed concern over safety — and impact on students’ mental health.
Who are the homeless?
Our concept of the “deserving poor” needs to expand past attitudes mirroring 17th and 18th century mores that drive today’s ambivalent response to homelessness.
Leaning into ‘treatment over punishment’: jail diversion programs show potential
Amid calls to reform policing and criminal justice — and an aging, crowded jail — Whatcom officials, residents and law officers are looking to diversion programs for detainees with serious mental health or substance abuse issues.
Skagit sheriff-social-worker partnership is a game-changer in mental health calls
A different approach to how first responders in Skagit County address mental health crises is changing the outcome of behavioral health emergencies and helping people stay out of the hospital or jail.
For the people: what local legislators plan for the 2022 session
Dealing with climate change, providing economic relief post-COVID-19 and ensuring sustainability for the Washington State Ferries system made the priority lists of elected officials returning to take care of the people’s business when the 2022 session opens Jan. 10.
Businesses open but not ‘as usual’ as pandemic continues to affect restaurant staff, management
Restaurants are open for business but definitely not back to normal, as management and staff work their way through post-pandemic-shutdown changing realities. While federal support dollars helped many owners to carry on and stay in business, the industry is seeing a trend toward workers leaving, prompted by concerns for their physical and mental health as well as newly difficult social interactions in an already stressful work environment.
In country, town and city, treatment for drug addiction is urgently needed
Harm reduction programs and collaborations among police, health professionals and society at large pave the pathways to treatment needed by those addicted to drugs, agreed an expert panel at the recent Ralph Munro seminar. Along with looking at why people turn to drugs and how to get them the help they need to overcome addiction, the panel offered ideas as to what’s needed in the way of policy.
The Gardenview Village tiny homes open avenues of hope for those experiencing homelessness
Gardenview Village, a new community of tiny homes located off Lakeway Drive in Bellingham, will include 35 houses to serve unhoused members of the community when complete. The site already is providing homes to some residents since opening in mid-October.