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UW Medicine’s goal of improving mental health received an outpouring of community support at a special event on Friday, Nov. 3, at Fremont Studios in Seattle. With more than 300 people in attendance, the benefit raised $9.2 million to improve mental health in our community and to help create the new UW Medicine Behavioral Health Institute at Harborview Medical Center.

The institute will be based at Harborview, which provides care to people with mental illness and substance-use disorders as two of its priority patient populations. The institute will allow UW Medicine to expand its work: giving people access to mental health, conducting research, training specialists and driving dialogue around mental health issues.

“One-third of Americans will have a mental health disorder, a substance-use disorder or both at some point in their lives,” said Dr. Jürgen Unützer, chair of UW Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “Unfortunately, no family goes untouched.”

Lisa Lovejoy, who works at the Housing and Recovery through Peer Services program at Harborview, shared her personal story of dealing with mental illness at the benefit. She credits dialectical behavioral therapy, a type of cognitive behavioral therapy developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, UW professor of psychology, for giving her hope and a path to recovery.

Lisa Lovejoy

For more information about Lisa’s journey, see her story and video at Both Light and Dark

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