The Crisis Stabilization Facility provides services to adults who are experiencing a mental health crisis, or who are in need of withdrawal management services, and helps them restore and stabilize their health.
The stabilization facility offers an alternative to hospitalization or arrest. It is also a clear point of access to mental health and substance use services in Whatcom County.
In 2015 the County Council identified increasing the capacity of the Crisis Stabilization Facility as a key priority, and tasked the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force with developing a plan. Whatcom County began a project in late 2017 to design a larger facility with expanded services. The $9.5 million expansion project is funded through a combination of support from the Washington State capital budget and the North Sound Behavioral Health Organization, and the Whatcom County Behavioral Health Fund.
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Adults experiencing a crisis due to mental illness or substance use disorder who need a safe, supportive setting to stabilize.
The North Sound Behavioral Health Organization covers the majority of operating costs. Medicaid and state dollars fund the services. Managed Care Organizations, also known as Health Plans, will cover most of the expenses as of July 1, 2019.
As the only facility of this type in Whatcom County with just thirteen beds, the current triage center needs more capacity. When beds are unavailable people needing treatment end up at the hospital, in jail, or back on the streets.
The new project will expand the current facility to 32 beds: 16 for voluntary crisis triage and 16 more for voluntary detox services. The increased space is expected to be about 12,000 square feet larger than the present facility.
Much of the funding will come from the Washington State Legislature’s capital budget. Further funding will come from regional sources, including $2.5 million from the North Sound Behavioral Health Organization. In total, the project is expected to cost approximately $9.5 million, which includes relocation costs of current services during construction.
Operations will be paid for primarily with public funds. The Whatcom County Behavioral Health Fund, which is a local sales tax fund, may also contribute to ensure seamless care and coordination upon discharge to the community.