Screenshot from Washington Department of Commerce website.

Screenshot from Washington Department of Commerce website.

Funding secured for behavioral health crisis stabilization facility in King County

The mental health facility will help avoid arrests and unnecessary hospital emergency room visits.

On Sept. 6, the Washington State Department of Commerce announced a $4.2 million grant to ConnectionsWA for a new 16-bed crisis stabilization facility in King County. The facility will leverage $5.3 million in non-state funding to complete the project.

ConnectionsWA is affiliated with Arizona-based Connections Health Solutions, a national leader in immediate-access behavioral health crisis stabilization.

ConnectionsWA will select a site in King County to purchase by the end of 2022 and plans to begin construction in 2023. The facility will assist law enforcement in their efforts to divert people who are better served in a mental health environment from arrest and unnecessary hospital emergency room visits.

ConnectionsWA estimates that the facility will stabilize approximately 2,000 individuals per year, connecting them to community support resources for ongoing assistance.

This grant also helps the state meet its obligations under the Trueblood Contempt Settlement Agreement addressing unconstitutional delays in competency evaluation and restoration services for people detained in jails. The Trueblood v. Washington Department of Social and Health Services lawsuit filed in 2014 challenged unconstitutional delays in competency evaluation and restoration services for people detained in jails.

The state is ordered to provide competency evaluations within 14 days and competency restoration services within seven days of court orders, and is fined by the court when those deadlines are not met. The state worked with Disability Rights Washington to develop a Contempt Settlement Agreement, which establishes a plan for providing services to persons involved in the criminal court system and for providing treatment so they are less likely to become involved in the criminal court system.

Grants like the one that is helping fund this future facility are awarded through a competitive process conducted by Commerce, the Washington State Health Care Authority, Department of Social and Health Services, and Department of Health. All projects must maintain the facility for the intended use for at least 15 years. This grant is the first of three funding rounds offered this year through Commerce’s Behavioral Health Facilities program.

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