Seattle — Gov. Jay Inslee has released his behavioral health plan as part of his proposed budget for the 2019-2021 biennium. The following statement on the behavioral health plan is from Washington State Hospital Association President & CEO Cassie Sauer: The following statement on the behavioral health plan is from Washington State Hospital Association President & CEO Cassie Sauer:
“WSHA has been very active in advocating for improved care and increased funding for behavioral health. We developed a comprehensive 10-point behavioral health plan to highlight critical areas of need. We are pleased the governor’s budget provides funding for so many important parts of the behavioral health crisis and will help people get care when and where they need it. The governor’s plan addresses all areas of our 10-point plan the state can impact without federal action.
“Behavioral health will be central to the 2019 legislative session. In May, the governor announced his plan to close Western and Eastern State hospitals to patients whose mental health issues are serious enough to require civil commitment. His goal is to move long-term mental health care to community settings across the state. Washington state needs significant new investments to the behavioral health system to smoothly make this transition for patients, as well as to prevent hospitalizations and crises in the first place. We are pleased the governor is making these important steps down the path of improving behavioral health care, and look forward to working with him and the legislature in 2019.”