MultiCare joins forces to bring new mental health hospital to Tacoma

The state of Washington currently ranks 48th out of 50 states for prevalence of mental health services

The state of Washington currently ranks 48th out of 50 states for prevalence of mental health services. The Alliance for South Sound Health, wants to do something about that according to Marce Edwards, the director of Media and Digital Communications and Marketing for MulltiCare Health System

Improvement of mental health services has been critical that the state Department of Health approved The Alliance for South Sound Health to build and operate a new $45 million behavioral health hospital in Tacoma. The Alliance is a joint venture of CHI Franciscan Health and MultiCare Health System.

“The collaboration will dramatically improve access to much-needed behavioral health services for the residents of Pierce and South King Counties and surrounding areas,” Edwards wrote in an email.

Edwards explained Washington state ranks so low in mental health services because when compared to access for care, particularly when it comes to inpatient capacity, the state ranks poorly. The national average for beds per 100,000 people is 26. Washington averages 8.3 beds with Pierce County averaging 2.8 beds per 100,000.

“One in five adults will experience symptoms associated with a diagnosable behavioral health disorder this year,” Edwards said.

The new hospital will be a freestanding, two-story hospital with 120 beds which during a full year of operation, will treat approximately 5,000 patients.

It will be a place for stabilization and recovery for adults, age 18 and older. The admissions will be voluntary and involuntary. Construction will begin this summer and expected to be completed in 2018.

The hospital will be located on the Allenmore Hospital in Tacoma.

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