50 years helping people in Yakima. That's what Yakima's Comprehensive Healthcare is celebrating this month. Ron Gengler, the Chief Clinical Officer says right now a big issue is how to get more people to access mental health care in the county.

Lots of progress has been made in how people talk about mental health

He says over the last 50 years there's been a lot of progress made in how people talk about mental health and substance abuse. There's also been major progress made to medications and treatment but still access to mental health care is a big barrier. Gengler says many mental health counselors are overwhelmed and some patients have a tough time finding the help they need.

Comprehensive is hiring! They're looking for people who want to help others

The reason why he says they're hoping to find more people to work at Comprehensive Healthcare. Maybe you've been through some mental or drug related problems and you want to help others. Check the information at comphc.org.

January is a special month to recognize a big problem in Yakima

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Gengler says it's happening here in Yakima everyday. He says instability caused by things like the pandemic can increase opportunities for traffickers to exploit people.  According to a press release someone might be in a labor trafficking or exploitation situation if you learn they:

* Feel pressured by their employer to stay in a job or situation they want to leave

* Owe money to an employer or recruiter and/or not being paid what they were promised or are owed

* Do not have control of their passport or other identity documents

* Are living and working in isolated conditions, largely cut off from interaction with others or support systems

* Appear to be monitored by another person when talking or interacting with others

* Are living in dangerous, overcrowded or inhumane conditions provided by an employer

* Are being threatened by their boss with deportation or other harm

* Are working in dangerous conditions, without proper safety gear, training, adequate breaks and other protections

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