NUHSA has endorsed the Crisis Care Centers (CCC) Levy and is organizing to create deep support for this critically important measure that will be on the April 25th ballot. Learn more about the Levy and its impact at the links below, and read on for NUHSA’s endorsement:
Vote YES on Prop. 1
Lake Forest Park resident and North Urban Human Services Alliance (NUHSA) member Alison Carver generously shared the following personal story in order to encourage residents to vote YES on Prop. 1, the Crisis Care Centers Levy.
Vote Yes on Proposition 1, the Crisis Care Centers Levy. If approved, this proposition would fund behavioral health services and capital facilities, including a countywide crisis care centers network; increased residential treatment mobile crisis care; post-discharge stabilization; and workforce supports.
I don’t share this information lightly but with the hopes your vote can prevent another unbearable loss.
My beautiful, talented, and brilliant daughter died by suicide on October 8th after numerous interactions with the broken mental health system in Washington State. She was seemingly thriving with a promising career, friends and her own apartment.
In the months before she died, she was transported to Harborview on numerous occasions, strapped in a four point restraint, left in a cart in a hallway in the ER, administered a dose of Haldol, then released the following day with no followup care. She was released from an involuntary 110 hour hold by a King County Judge, against the advice of her care team, doctors and social workers, again with no follow up care. She talked constantly about the trauma of being restrained and the physical scars the restraints left of her wrists and ankles.
I believe access to a walk in Crisis Care Center, staffed with trained medical teams, would have saved her life.
Please vote YES on Proposition 1. Ballots are due April 25th.
NUHSA Endorses Prop. 1
A special King County election is taking place on April 25th and your vote is needed to help ensure that residents get the mental health support they need – anyone, anywhere and at any time.
Successful mental health crisis systems include three core elements: someone to talk to, someone to respond, and someplace to go.
Currently our region offers a regional crisis line (988) and more people than ever are taking that critical first step in reaching out. Mobile Crisis Teams, Co-Responders and Outreach Leads respond when there is a mental health crisis and help is needed immediately. But the missing link is ‘someplace to go’. There is no walk-in behavioral health ‘urgent care’.
Currently, if someone is experiencing a mental health crisis in North King County, emergency responders have only three possible options: take them to a hospital emergency room, bring them to jail, or hope that one of the 46 King County crisis center beds is available, serving all 2.3 million people throughout the county.
The King County Crisis Care Centers Levy, which would raise funds through a property tax levy spread over nine years costing the owner of a median-valued home about $10 each month, fills this massive gap by doing three critically imperative things. The Levy will:
- Create five new regional crisis care centers that will be distributed geographically across the county, including in North King County! These professionally staffed walk-in centers will provide short-term stays to help people stabilize, and one center will specifically serve youth.
- Preserve and restore the dramatic loss of residential treatment beds. In 2018, there were 355 beds providing community-based residential care; today there are only 244.
- Grow the behavioral health workforce pipeline by creating career pathways through apprenticeships and access to higher education, credentialing, training and wrap-around supports. It will also invest in equitable wages for the workforce at the crisis care centers.
Additionally, the Levy will provide immediate services while the Crisis Care Centers are being constructed through mobile or site-based services!
The choice is clear. People in crisis need immediate, safe places to go for help – and Mobile Crisis Teams and law enforcement need better, faster and more equitable options than jail and emergency rooms. The average wait time for a residential treatment bed is 44 days. With more beds and staffing, more people can get the help they need, when they need it.
As one North King County single mother explained, “Our family has lived with pain, confusion and anger with the system. If we had access to urgent care, I believe we would have been better equipped to survive my daughter’s worst days.”
Join NUHSA in voting YES on April 25th! Together, we can build a more accessible, responsive and effective mental health system for all residents.