Executive Somers announces $8 million for behavioral health projects
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., May 22, 2023 – Executive Dave Somers today announced that Snohomish County is awarding $8 million to five capital projects that increase behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment capacity. These projects will serve at least 440 new individuals each year, with the capacity to serve thousands, and the majority of projects focus on increasing treatment services for youth and families. These awards are funded through the County’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation.
“The isolation and disruption caused by the pandemic have undoubtedly worsened challenges related to behavioral health across Snohomish County and the country,” said Executive Somers. “As we talked to communities about ways to recover and move forward from COVID-19, there was consistent agreement around the need to expand affordable, high-quality behavioral health capacity serving all parts of the county. Snohomish County continues to advance holistic, comprehensive efforts to address issues related to behavioral health and substance use. Ultimately, we need a significant influx of state and federal dollars to address these multi-faceted and complex issues.”
“With the new legislation approved by the state to fix Blake and ensure drugs are not decriminalized, we must do our part to improve access to behavioral health and substance use disorder services,” said Snohomish County Council Chair Jared Mead. “Addiction takes a heavy toll on our families and the community at large, and these programs are the best way for us to help those who are suffering.”
“These federal dollars are being put to essential use, particularly for families who are struggling with mental health and substance abuse challenges,” said Snohomish County Council Vice Chair Nate Nehring. “We know that there is not enough behavioral health capacity in Snohomish County, and I’m particularly pleased to see that these programs will bring much-needed services to families and youth.”
“The best places for people to heal are within their own community,” said Snohomish County Councilmember Strom Peterson. “I am proud to stand with Executive Somers and his commitment to help fund these critical projects that will offer holistic services throughout the county.”
“Using these federal resources to increase behavioral health capacity in Snohomish County will help heal entire families and bring relief to parents and children who struggle,” said Snohomish County Councilmember Sam Low. “As we look for ways to turn the tide on homelessness and drug addiction, we need to help people get themselves to a healthier place. These programs have my full support.”
“These programs will help us address one of the most urgent needs in our community: improved behavioral health services,” said Snohomish County Councilmember Megan Dunn. “Our community can compassionately and effectively address behavioral health challenges that are inflicting so many people across the country and in our county. This is another transformational step the county is taking to improve the health of our neighbors.”
The vast majority of awarded projects – $7,750,000 – originate from submissions to the County’s Behavioral Health Facilities Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Increasing behavioral health services was identified as a top community priority during the County’s communitywide pandemic recovery engagement effort. All funded projects are detailed below.
Evergreen Recovery Centers – New Evergreen Manor Family Center
The Evergreen Manor Family Center is a 27,500 square foot facility that will provide long-term housing and behavioral health treatment for opioid-dependent pregnant and parenting women and their children. The live-in facility will include short-term housing during treatment and a co-located child care center. The facility will serve 200 mothers and children annually and will accommodate homeless mothers with multiple children to keep families intact and enable all family members to receive specialized services. The neonatal unit will serve as many as 60 infants in a year in a supportive environment designed to enhance early attachment.
“Now celebrating our 50th year of serving Snohomish County residents, Evergreen Recovery Centers is profoundly grateful for the long-standing partnership we have with Snohomish County,” said Evergreen Recovery Centers CEO Linda Grant. “Through the County’s meaningful financial assistance, we will be able to expand childcare services to 50 children of families overcoming drug addiction and open the first pediatric transitional care unit inside a treatment program in order to provide more compassionate care to infants experiencing drug withdrawal.”
Volunteers of America Western Washington – Lynnwood Neighborhood Center
As part of the larger Lynnwood Neighborhood Center project, 3,000 square feet of space will be dedicated to behavioral health services providing 40 individual appointments per day. Services offered include individual and group services for mental health counseling, family support, behavioral health integration (with on-site child care classrooms as well as on-site medical services) and community-based intensive services for children, youth, and adults. Service levels and impact will likely be far greater than 40 appointments per day due to group sessions, workshops, and supportive programming.
Edmonds School District – Behavioral Health Services Expansion
Edmonds School District will support a school-based health center at Meadowdale High School that will provide behavioral health services for public school students. This project will remove barriers for students and families trying to access health care and behavioral health programs and will allow student’s the ability to self-advocate for care. Access to care will be provided to student in person during the school year and available for telehealth appointments during school breaks and non-school days. Currently, behavioral health partners are able to see 126-132 students each week across five high schools. With the expansion, the district will be able to serve approximately 140 additional students per week for behavioral health services with expanded offerings.
Housing Hope – New Tomorrow’s Child Development Center
Housing Hope will construct a designated behavioral health space within the Tomorrow’s Hope Child Development Center. This facility will provide Theraplay, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and other research-based interventions for children ages 3 – 12 who have experienced homelessness, poverty, or other adverse childhood experiences. This new space will allow Housing Hope to hire two new licensed Mental Health Therapists to serve the children enrolled in the child care program. Housing Hope expects that these therapists will be able to serve 40 children and caregivers at any one time, totaling 60 children and caregivers per year.
Pioneer Human Services – North Sound Behavioral Health Facility
This funding supports Pioneer Human Services’ operation of the North Sound Behavioral Health inpatient treatment facility located at the Denney Juvenile Justice Center. The pandemic has resulted in increased operational costs, primarily due to significant salary increases necessary to recruit and retain qualified personnel. Anticipated Medicaid rate increases in 2024 are expected to provide sufficient funding for future activities. During the last 12 months, 218 unique individuals received necessary treatment services addressing substance use disorder and mental health needs.
Executive Somers established the Office of Recovery & Resilience to guide the County’s recovery work by ensuring federal pandemic relief is administered quickly, effectively, and equitably. Information on the County’s recovery work can be found at www.snohomishcountywa.gov/recovery.