The City of Kirkland, along with the North King County partner cities of Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park and Shoreline, announced on March 8, the siting of a new multi-service crisis response center dedicated to serving the behavioral health needs of community members across North and Northeast King County.
The new crisis center is operated by Connections Health Solutions, a national provider of behavioral health crisis care. The facility is at 11410 NE 122nd Way in Kirkland’s Totem Lake neighborhood, conveniently located near Evergreen Hospital and Highway 405.
“The new Connections crisis response center adds a critical element in the continuum of behavioral health care for community members in Kirkland and throughout the region,” said City of Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet. “This new center complements the Regional Crisis Response Agency announced in 2022, which will deploy Crisis Responders on some 911 calls for community members experiencing behavioral health crisis across the North [King] county region.”
The crisis response center will be the first of its kind in King County to provide a spectrum of care services, from walk-in mental health urgent care to continued stabilization of behavioral health or substance use crises.
“The arrival of Connections Health Solutions represents a critical step toward needed access to dedicated behavioral health crisis care resources in North King County,” said City of Kenmore Mayor Nigel Herbig. “A crisis does not only occur during business hours. In turn, our community must have additional resources when making an appointment or a waiting room does not suffice.”
The “no wrong door” clinic will be open to everyone regardless of the severity of need or insurance status, and care will be available 24/7 with no appointment required. Connections expects to open the new facility in Kirkland in 2024.
“This center is an important part of a sustainable solution for a strengthened behavioral health community care continuum,” said City of Bothell Mayor Mason Thompson. “We look forward to continuing to work alongside our coalition cities and Connections to open this critical resource for our residents.”
Connections’ effort to open the north King County facility is made possible, in part, by $21.52 million in financial support from grants from the State of Washington and King County.
“Providing a 24/7 place for people in crisis to receive effective care helps make recovery possible as part of a connected behavioral health system that provides people with the care they need when they need it in their communities,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “King County invested $11.5 million of state and local dollars toward this crisis center in Kirkland, and it’s the start of what we can achieve together when it comes to community behavioral health.”
Together with the national 988 Crisis Lifeline and the Regional Crisis Response Agency, the new crisis response center aims to fill a void of coordinated behavioral health care in King County by providing community members in crisis with three important resources: someone to call, someone to respond and somewhere to go.
“Crisis stabilization centers are an effective and important tool in our state’s efforts to address behavioral health issues and reform approaches to behavioral health care and public safety,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Our communities need a place where people in crisis can go to receive compassionate and focused behavioral health care. Programs like this that allow for first responder referrals decrease the use of jails and emergency rooms, which are not well-equipped to address these needs.”
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