Seattle University Conversations

Today’s leaders on today’s topics

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About Seattle University Conversations

Seattle University Conversations, the quarterly series presented by the Institute of Public Service, brings local, regional, and national leaders to the stage for in-depth discussions on critical current issues. 

Seattle University Conversations: Congressman Adam Smith and Dr. Umair A. Shah
Seattle University Conversations: Congressman Adam Smith and Dr. Umair A. Shah

For those coping with mental health struggles several challenges usually come up, including, how do I overcome the stigma of admitting I have a problem? And who do I turn to for help? Washington’s 9th District Congressman Adam Smith encountered both issues while dealing with his own mental health problems. He told hosts Professor Larry Hubbell and Joni Balter, “I don’t just want to talk about it, I really want to help people know, here’s some steps you can take. Here’s the therapies you can pursue. Here’s how your mind works.” Washington’s Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah says many people don’t even recognize what they’re going through, and says, “I think that increasing that awareness and telling the stories and sharing that across all the different parts of our community is so critical.” But how do you reach out to someone who might be in serious need of help? Dr. Shah says, “You have to be willing to be vulnerable and you have to be willing to share.” Ultimately, Congressman Smith says this is the eventual goal, “Talking about it is great, fixing it is even better.” Adam Smith explains what multiple experts did to help him work through severe anxiety and depression that he dealt with for many years.