The Pierce County Community Connections Department created a short-term ad hoc Behavioral Health Committee. The purpose of this Committee is to develop an Integrated Community Behavioral Health Plan framework that responds to the needs of the citizens of Pierce County.
The ad hoc committee is an advisory body comprised of mental health and
substance abuse professionals, criminal justice communities, emergency
medical services, medical doctors, community citizens and others of
Pierce County. This body is a is a partnership and collaboration of
exceptional people that are representative of our community.
The Committee will convene three to four times from July to August 2016.
Their perspective and expertise is critical to the Committee’s success
in creating a framework will help we all consider the subject of
behavioral health in Pierce County.
State is 48th out of 50 states when looking at the prevalence of mental
health services compared to access of care, particularly when it comes
to inpatient capacity.
The national average is 26.1 per 100,000 residents – Washington State averages 8.3 beds.
County is even worse and ranks at the bottom of all urban counties,
with 2.8 beds per 100,000. The fact is Pierce and South King County have
the great distinction of being one of the worst areas in all of the
United States for mental health beds.
We are in a local mental
health crisis in Pierce County. Currently we treat the mentally ill on
the streets, in our shelters, in the emergency rooms of our hospitals
and in our jails - none of which are the right place for people to
receive the behavioral health care they need.
We simply must
create additional behavioral health capacity throughout the continuum of
in patient, outpatient and community based care.
effectiveness of mental health prevention and treatment, not all
individuals are getting the help the need. Lack of insurance, physical
limitations, stigma, and strict access to care standards are some
reasons individuals might not be accessing services. In some cases, the
resources aren't available.
As the rate of mental illness
increases, the amount of state-funded resources continues to decrease.
For example, between 2000 and 2010, the number of involuntary treatment
act-certified beds in Washington State decreased by 36%.
Centers for Disease Control reports that only half of children with
mental disorders received treatment for the disorder in the past year
(15Center for Disease Control, National Health and Nutrition Examination