County to recieve $11.6M to expand behavioral health care access

A total of $20.4 million will be invested in King County, Benton County, Skagit County and Whatcom County.

The Washington State Department of Commerce announced another $20.4 million investment in community-based facilities serving people who are experiencing a mental health crisis, or who are in need of withdrawal management services to help them restore and stabilize their health.

Five crisis triage and stabilization projects across the state were awarded grants from the Behavioral Health Facilities capital program on Dec. 29.

In King County, $5.82 million will go to ConnectionsWA for the North King County Crisis Receiving Center and $5.8 million to SOUND for the adult crisis triage facility.

ConnectionsWA received an initial $4.2 million grant on Sept. 6.

In Whatcom County, $900,000 will go to TouchStone Behavioral Health for the youth crisis triage, stabilization, and Intensive outpatient treatment facility. The Three Rivers Behavioral Health Recovery Center in Kennewick will receive $2.17 million and $5.8 million for the Skagit County Crisis Stabilization Center in Sedro-Woolley.

These types of stabilization facilities offer a meaningful alternative to emergency room hospitalization or incarceration. The investments support Gov. Inslee’s five-year plan to modernize and transform Washington’s mental health system, with the goal of ending civil patient placements at the state’s large hospitals by 2023 in favor of smaller community-based facilities.

The funding announced today builds on to $140 million in additional behavioral health investments from earlier this year with funding provided by the Legislature for the 2021-23 biennium.

The grants to counties and nonprofit organizations were awarded through a competitive process conducted by Commerce and its partners at the Department of Health, The Department of Social and Health Services, and the state Health Care Authority.

The funds are for construction, renovation, acquisition, and/or equipment costs associated with establishing the facilities, and the projects must maintain the facility for at least 15 years.