Coping with Mental Health Challenges, the Personal and the Political

Posted: October 16, 2023

By: Institute of Public Service, Master of Public Administration Programs, College of Arts and Sciences

Conversations Event October 30 2023
Monday, Oct. 30, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.

Pigott Auditorium
Free, advance registration requested.

The Institute of Public Service hosts Congressman Adam Smith and Dr. Umair A. Shah, Secretary of Health, Washington, to discuss the intersection of individual mental health issues and how they affect the broader political dialogue. Dr. Larry Hubbell and Joni Balter moderate the first of the Institute of Public Service “Conversations” for 2023-24.

Congressman Smith will talk about his recently released book, Lost and Broken: My Journey Back from Chronic Pain and Crippling Anxiety, a candid memoir about his years-long struggle with anxiety and chronic pain, and the winding path to find the right diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Shah, the first Asian-American physician of South Asian descent to serve as health secretary, will help explain the magnitude of mental and behavioral health concerns in our state and offer ways to help those suffering from anxiety, depression, and other debilitating health matters. As part of that, he will bring us up to date on Washington’s role in expanding and supporting the national crisis line 988.

Lost and Broken: My Journey Back from Chronic Pain and Crippling Anxiety by Congressman Smith will be available for purchase at the event through Seattle University’s partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company.

About the speakers

Congressman Adam Smith
9th Congressional District, Washington

Congressman Adam Smith has represented the Ninth District of Washington State since 1997, serving parts of King County including South Seattle, Renton, Bellevue, and Federal Way. He was reelected to his 14th term in 2022 and has been the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee since 2011. He recently came out with a memoir, Lost and Broken: My Journey Back from Chronic Pain and Crippling Anxiety, revealing how he got to his lowest point in life, and how he slowly, painfully, and unevenly found his way back to having a calmer mind and being free of chronic pain and medication.

Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH
Secretary of Health, Washington

Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, is the Secretary of Health for the great State of Washington, appointed by Governor Jay Inslee in December 2020.

Dr. Shah earned his BA (philosophy) from Vanderbilt University; his MD from the University of Toledo Health Science Center; and completed an Internal Medicine Residency, Primary Care/General Medicine Fellowship, & MPH (management), at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He also completed a global health policy internship at World Health Organization headquarters in Switzerland.

Over his career, Dr. Shah has been a clinician, innovator, educator, and leader in health. He has been a champion for underserved communities, at the intersection of health and healthcare, while charting a fresh course in health by centering on the cornerstone values of Equity, Innovation, and Engagement.