Skagit County Expands Access to Behavioral Health Treatment at North Sound Evaluation & Treatment Center

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Skagit County is excited to announce the grand opening of the North Sound Evaluation and Treatment Center (E&T) located at 1420 State Route 20 in Sedro-Woolley. Operations of the facility are set to begin on September 1. The E&T is being relocated from its current site at the North Cascade Gateway Campus in Sedro-Woolley following the transfer of this state-owned property to the Port of Skagit back in December of 2016.

The 16-bed facility will be operated by Telecare, an agency with extensive experience, and will provide inpatient mental health services to individuals ages 18 and older who are experiencing severe acute psychiatric symptoms. The E&T will provide 24-hour support to stabilize symptoms and prepare individuals to return home, or to other community-based programs as appropriate. There is no referral process or waitlist for the E&T according to Andrea Harrison who works for Skagit County. “Individuals are detained by a Designated Crisis Responder usually at an Emergency Department and are sent to the E&T. Beds at the facility may or may not be available, individuals can be sent to other facilities throughout the state.” This facility provides our community another treatment resource to help Skagitonians get on a path to recovery and has been made possible through a partnership between Skagit County, Telecare, the North Sound Behavioral Health Administrative Services organization, the City of Sedro-Woolley, and the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Treatment from this facility typically includes a combination of group and individual treatment coupled with medication management in a highly structured setting. An E&T may provide voluntary treatment, or for persons detained under the individual treatment act, they may provide involuntary treatment as well. Doctors however, are not allowed to directly provide referrals of their patients but they could call a Designated Crisis Responder for an evaluation. “Family members or friends also cannot refer someone they know to the E&T,” said Harrison. “However, the crisis line 988 is available 24/7, 365 days a year which is a good resource to call if they need help for themselves or a loved one.” Drug related admissions are also not accepted by the facility.

Skagit County leaders are also exploring possible developments for phase two of the project, as the campus in Sedro-Woolley where the E&T is located includes space for additional behavioral health capacity. Future services will be determined by the North Star project’s identified priorities. Development of a second phase at the campus is dependent on identification and securement of additional funding. The North Star Project is a comprehensive effort of City Mayors and County Commissioners to address behavioral health and homelessness challenges in the community. The project will occur in two phases over the course of roughly 24 months, with phase one currently underway.

Another exciting project under construction is Martha’s Place, a housing development to open in Spring 2023 that will provide 70 units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for households experiencing homelessness and low-income households at risk of homelessness.

For more information about the North Sound Evaluation and Treatment Center, the North Star Project, or Martha’s Place, please contact Skagit County Public Health at (360) 416-1500 or [email protected]