Vote YES on April 25th to Improve Mental Health Services
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 (https://publicola.com/2023/03/27/to-help-kids-like-mine-pass-the-king-county-crisis-care-centers-levy/), “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.
Learn more here (https://www.nuhsa.org/learn-more-crisis-care-centers-levy/)! Do you have questions or want to get involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here (https://yeskcprop1.com/).
Silje Sodal, MPH
Executive DirectorNUHSA (North Urban Human Services Alliance)
P.O. Box. 60215
Shoreline, WA 98160