Washington’s first residential treatment facility to welcome patients in February

Shauna Sowersby/ssowersby@theolympian.com

Washington’s first residential mental health treatment facility was introduced to the public Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site near Rochester.

Gov. Jay Inslee, who first proposed the idea for small, community-based treatment centers in 2018, delivered opening remarks at the Civil Center for Behavioral Health at Maple Lane, which will be run by the Washington state Department of Social and Health Services.

“Recovery is enhanced by proximity to family, friends, and community,” Inslee said in a news release after the ceremony. “Care closer to home is better care.”

The secure, 16-bed facility will house patients anywhere from 90-180 days while patients receive therapeutic treatment and learn life skills, according to Jeneva Cotton, director of civil residential treatment facilities for DSHS’ Behavioral Health Administration.

Because most of the patients will be relocated from Western State Hospital, social workers will prepare those patients for Maple Lane before they even leave the hospital, Cotton told McClatchy Friday.

Cotton said that patients’ recovery time at the facility won’t always be limited to 180 days, and that sometimes patients may need an extension. Patients need to be medically stable before they can be released from the site at Maple Lane, but Cotton said treatment will continue as a wraparound service for those patients to reintegrate them into their communities.

“These are folks coming from our communities, we need to provide them with tools and new opportunities to avoid that revolving door,” she said.

Patients’ families and friends will be allowed to visit during the recovery process at the facility, which Cotton said she believes will be a huge contributor to healing.

Ideally, Cotton said, care won’t be affected when patients leave and they can have a “safe, warm hand-off.”

The facility will accept its first patient near the end of February, Cotton said, and DSHS has been working hard to make sure they have all the right resources before the first patient arrives. She said DSHS did what it could to create the “model” residential facility.

“We’ve put a lot of effort in doing things the right way,” she told McClatchy.

The facility at Maple Lane is a net-zero facility and generates solar power, in line with Inslee’s vision for more sustainability in Washington state. DSHS noted in a press release that during the construction of the building they “prioritized a green and therapeutic design.”

The treatment facility was constructed in Thurston County because most of the patients at Western State are from Thurston County, Cotton told McClatchy. Construction of other residential treatment facilities will be determined by which communities have the most need for beds, she said.

The governor’s office noted in the news release that by 2024, 10 more similar facilities will be completed throughout the state. They will provide 239 beds total for patients.

Additionally, part of Inslee’s behavioral health reformation in the state includes the addition of a 350-bed forensic hospital on Western State’s campus in Lakewood. That project is scheduled to be completed between 2027 and 2029.