A new multi-service crisis response center will provide behavioral health services for Washingtonians in north King County.
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Representatives from Kirkland, Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, and Shoreline announced the site of the crisis response center during a press conference on Wednesday. It will be located at 11410 NE. 122nd Way in Kirkland’s Totem Lake neighborhood. The center will be the first of its kind in King County. It will provide walk-in mental health urgent care, continued stabilization services for behavioral health or substance use crises, and other services.
Crisis stabilization centers are an effective and important tool in Washington’s efforts to address mental health issues and reform approaches to behavioral healthcare and public safety, Gov. Jay Inslee said.
“Our communities need a place where people in crisis can go to receive compassionate and focused behavioral healthcare,” Inslee said. “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. I’m proud of the investments our state and our communities are making in these programs.”
Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet said the center would complement the Regional Crisis Response Agency, which was announced last year, and will deploy crisis responders on some 911 calls for individuals experiencing behavioral health crises in the region.
“This announcement culminates a year-long effort by Kirkland and our north King County partners to proactively address critical behavioral health needs in our communities,” Sweet said.
The center will be operated by Connections Health Solutions, a national provider of behavioral health crisis care.
“The arrival of Connections Health Solutions represents a critical step toward needed access to dedicated behavioral health crisis care resources in north King County,” Kenmore Mayor Nigel Herbig said. “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.”
Lake Forest Park Mayor Jeff Johnson noted that Connections has been serving communities for more than 30 years.
“Expertise and experience of that caliber matter in behavioral health crisis care and treatment,” Johnson said. “The positive impact of this center will be felt among families across the five north King County cities for generations to come.”
The center will be open to everyone, regardless of the severity of their need or insurance status, and care will be available 24/7 with no appointment required. It is expected to open in 2024. The center was partially funded by $21.52 million in financial support grants from the state 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,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said. “King County invested $11.5 million of state and local dollars toward this crisis center, and it’s the start of what we can achieve together when it comes to community behavioral health.”