Frustrated by recent safety findings by the federal government and the decision to postpone the opening of new units, the state House and Senate have held several hearings to understand the plan for improving Western State Hospital. Legislation has been introduced to create a legislative oversight committee, and many questions are being raised about how to move forward. Western State Hospital plays a critical role in the state’s mental health system, treating patients who have been involuntarily committed for long-term psychiatric treatment and those found to be criminally insane. It also plays a critical role in evaluating individuals for competency to stand trial.
WSHA firmly believes we need Western State Hospital to function well and play its part in the system. We know the waitlists for patients to be transferred to Western State are at an all-time high. We have also seen the number of patients on single-bed certifications increase during that same time period. In November, WSHA testified in the House Judiciary Committee to these impacts. Click here to listen to the hearing.
For more information, contact Chelene Whiteaker (206/216-2545).