Kids’ Mental Health Pierce County
named “Program of the Year”
by NAMI Washington

Kids’ Mental Health Pierce County named “Program of the Year” by NAMI Washington

TACOMA, Wash. – Kids’ Mental Health Pierce County (KMHPC), a community collaborative created by Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital to improve access to youth mental health services, earned the “2021 Program of the Year” award from the Washington State chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

“It’s an honor to receive this recognition,” said Ashley Mangum, MSW, program manager for KMHPC and behavioral health social worker at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. “We are committed to doing everything we can to serve local youth and get them the help they need and deserve. We’re grateful for the enthusiasm and community support for Kids’ Mental Health Pierce County.”

Created in October 2018 by Mary Bridge Children’s and multiple partner agencies in Pierce County, KMHPC’s goal is to improve access to care and coordination for mental health services, bolster youth mobile crisis services, and develop a family wellness center for local families and youth.

“Mental illness is a top three cause for medical hospitalization for youth between 10 and 18 years old,” said Chris Ladish, PhD, chief clinical officer of pediatric behavioral health at Mary Bridge Children’s and MultiCare Behavioral Health Network. “Kids’ Mental Health Pierce County has and continues to work hard to destigmatize mental health by providing education and resources for youth struggling with behavioral health concerns.”

Today, KMHPC has more than 800 members representing 60 community agencies and stakeholders. The organization hosts free webinars and programs for youth, families and educators, and works with local school districts and school counselors to address the youth mental health crisis. Behavioral health navigators with KMHPC have helped more than 670 kids get support, connecting them to services and resources from Mary Bridge Children’s.

For more information about KMHPC, including how to get involved, visit kidsmentalhealthsw.org. For more information about behavioral health services at Mary Bridge Children’s, visit marybridge.org.

In 2020, NAMI Washington awarded KMHPC the first-ever “Youth Mental Health Program of the Year.” The organization solicits nominations every October and announces the winners in December. For more information about NAMI Washington, visit namiwa.org.