The Mental Health Project is a Seattle Times initiative focused on covering mental and behavioral health. The project illuminates a growing mental health crisis in the Seattle region, Washington state and beyond. It explores the many types of mental illness people experience, spotlights promising treatments and research, and examines actions by government agencies, nonprofits and health providers to address the problem. 

Evidence points to worrying signs of a mental health crisis in the Northwest, across the country and around the world, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic fallout and the nation’s racial reckoning. The rise in anxiety is straining schools, legal systems and social services, and disproportionately hitting vulnerable people, including people of color. In the Puget Sound region, Seattle Children’s has seen a concerning increase in visits for psychiatric emergencies, and schools are grappling with the effects of trauma and stress on students’ ability to learn. Adding to the challenge: a shortage of therapists and other options for treatment. 

The Mental Health Project explores these issues and more. The project is funded by Ballmer Group, a national organization focused on economic mobility for children and families. Seattle Times editors and reporters operate independently of our funders and maintain full editorial control over all coverage. 

Our team — editor Diana Samuels, reporters Hannah Furfaro and Esmy Jimenez, and an engagement editor to be named soon — wants the community’s help in guiding and informing our coverage. Please email any thoughts, tips or story ideas to mentalhealth@seattletimes.com, share them on Twitter at @stmentalhealth, or leave a voicemail at 206-464-2090.