King County forum to define legislative priorities in mental health

Twenty six federal and state legislators are confirmed to convene at the King County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Legislative Forum on Nov. 5. The public forum is held to inform policy makers of innovations in mental health, substance abuse treatment, and behavioral health care and define the key legislative priorities for King County communities.

Top issues may include what progress has been made in capacity of mental health treatment facilities more than a year after the State Supreme Court ruled psychiatric boarding as unconstitutional. Capacity is still a critical issue for King County.

In July of this year, the County selected Valley Cities Counseling and Consultation and Telecare Corporation in its request for proposals. Valley Cities announced that it was planning a five-building mental health campus to serve South King County and Federal Way to open its doors in the second quarter of 2016. The facility had 16 involuntary beds and eight voluntary beds.

Mental health disparities within the community has also been making news. A recent UW study highlighted unmet mental health needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community in this area.

The reception will be open to the first 750 community members according to the town hall announcement.