October 31, 2017 4:37 pm

Thanks to an innovative partnership, Pierce College has provided education services to patients and their families at Western State Hospital for more than 37 years. The college operates the hospital’s Patient and Family Education Services, and works hard to educate the public on issues surrounding mental health. During a special event on Nov. 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the public is invited to the hospital to gain a better understanding of mental illness and how a supportive family and community can help someone with a mental illness recover.

Department leaders and Western State Hospital staff will lead discussions about the hospital and local community resource providers will share information about their advocacy work on behalf of people with mental illnesses. Attendees will learn techniques to foster hope and recovery; help reduce family stress; improve communication with patients who are family members and friends; and strengthen those relationships.

Anyone interested in learning new ways to deal with stress or anger may benefit from attending. Students or members of the community who are interested in pursuing careers in mental health or nursing may also gain valuable insight into the hospital and patient care.