Community embraces support for mental health rehabilitation

Dr. Melet Whinston the medical director for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan breaks down HERO House.

  • Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:30am
  • Life

One in five adults in the United States – about 44 million people – experience mental health issues every year.

To effectively meet and serve the needs of this population, and ultimately improve their health, we must address the needs of the whole person – this includes physical, behavioral and social health needs. This approach is proven to better an individual’s overall health, but it requires the support of a community.

I was fortunate to attend a fundraiser last month in support of a unique organization: HERO House, in Bellevue. It is a non-profit dedicated to the recovery of mental illness through meaningful work.

HERO House and UnitedHealthcare are partnering to help people in the Seattle metropolitan area with mental health issues get jobs, return to school, find affordable housing and live independent lives. At HERO House clubhouses, teams of counselors and practitioners use a psychiatric rehabilitation model that focuses on socialization and community engagement to help people who struggle with mental health get back to living with normality.

During the HERO House fundraiser, it was evident that this community is passionate about serving the severely mentally ill in a compassionate, person-centered way. Several individuals who have used HERO House for support shared their personal stories of overcoming mental health challenges, and it was comforting to see that this loving community fully embraces the people it serves.

In the 2017 America’s Health Rankings’ report, an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis, Washington ranked 13for mental health services and providers available statewide. While Washington is ranked on the high-end of the scale, there is still work to be done.

The fact is, individuals living with serious mental health challenges have an increased risk of chronic medical conditions, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. On average, adults in the U.S. living with serious mental health issues die 25 years earlier than others – largely due to treatable medical conditions.

Today’s Medicaid populations include an increasing number of individuals with mental health diagnoses and social service needs, such as housing, transportation, employment and financial stability. This is where programs like HERO House can help.

Given the limited availability of public money for mental health in our state and county, the support of programs like HERO House is critical for getting people with mental health issues access to high-quality treatment programs and mental health providers. Learn more about UnitedHealthcare’s commitment to helping people lead healthier lives here.

Dr. Melet Whinston is the medical director of the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S
Car review: 2021 Mercedes AMG E63 S sedan

By Larry Lark, contributor The latest incarnation of the Mercedes AMG E63… Continue reading

2021 Mazda3 Premium Plus
Car review: 2021 Mazda3 Premium Plus

By Larry Lark, contributor The Mazda3 has always looked the part of… Continue reading

2021 Toyota 4Runner 4x4 Trail Special Edition
Car review: 2021 Toyota 4Runner 4×4 Trail Special Edition

By Larry Lark, contributor If the great outdoors is your playground, it… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country

By Larry Lark, contributor In the overcrowded SUV market niche, if you’re… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

By Larry Lark, contributor How do you top the 2021 Dodge Durango… Continue reading

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat AWD
Car review: 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat AWD

By Larry Lark, contributor If you want something truly special, get in… Continue reading

2021 Genesis G80 RWD 2.5T Prestige
Car review: 2021 Genesis G80 RWD 2.5T Prestige

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Genesis G80 RWD 2.5T Prestige is… Continue reading

2021 GR Supra 2.0
Car review: 2021 GR Supra 2.0

By Larry Lark, contributor Cars seem to be built for stages of… Continue reading

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport
Car review: 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

By Larry Lark, contributor Subaru has made a few tweaks to improve… Continue reading

T
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Custom… Continue reading

2021 Lexus NX 300h
Car review: 2021 Lexus NX 300h

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Lexus NX 300h luxury sports utility… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country
Car review: 2021 Chevy Tahoe 4WD High Country

By Larry Lark, contributor Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for short, in the… Continue reading