Behavioral Health and Recovery Division
King County offers services for people who are in a behavioral health crisis These services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Crisis and Commitment Services (CCS)
King County Crisis and Commitment Services offers evaluation of people with behavioral health disorders for involuntary detention in psychiatric facilities according to the State of Washington law. The law for adults is RCW 71.05. For youth 13 through 17 years of age the law is RCW 71.34.
Crisis and Commitment staff who perform these duties are referred to as Designated Crisis Responders (DCRs) They are mental health professionals who are specially trained to conduct a holistic investigation of risk and to treat the person in need with dignity and respect during their time of Crisis.
Crisis and Commitment Services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Phone: 206-263-9200
- Fax: 206-2960582
If you are in crisis:
Call 911 for police assistance if the situation is life threatening or if it looks like someone may get hurt.
Crisis Connections can help link you to available and appropriate resources; their services lines are available 24/7, 365.
FAQs: Implementation of Ricky's Law - Integrated Involuntary Treatment
FAQ: Joel’s Law - Filing a Petition for Initial Involuntary Detention of a Family Member
What You Should Know
How do I know if someone needs behavioral health crisis services?
Often it is the family and others close to the person with behavioral health problems who first notice the changes that identify the need for professional help.
Early warning signs may include:
- change in sleep patterns - waking up many times during the night, sleeping a lot during the day or getting hardly any sleep at all
- being socially withdrawn from others - stops seeing friends or loses interest in his/her appearance
- unable to function at work or in school - missing days from work/school or losing their job
- talks about things that don't make sense - laughs or mumbles to themselves, speech may be very fast and/or the person seems to jump from one subject to another
- may have unusual beliefs - thinks that others are after them or plotting against them or that their mind is being controlled by an outside force or that someone is putting thoughts into their mind.
It is common for the person to express fear and pain through anger and suspicion towards those closest to them. It is important the family try to focus on their feelings rather than on angry behavior, as the person might respond to loved ones' suggestion that they get professional help, either in the community or in the hospital.
What should I do if the person refuses to accept help?
Contact the Crisis Clinic. This is the centralized access point for all telephone crisis services in King County, including for children. A trained Crisis Clinic volunteer worker will gather information about the recent behavior and assess what the appropriate next step is.
If the situation needs an evaluation by the DCR your contact information will be forwarded to King County Crisis and Commitment Services. The DCR on duty will contact you and gather additional information.
Under state behavioral health laws (RCW 71.05 and RCW 71.34), there are the specific circumstances where a person can be detained for involuntary hospitalization:
- threatened harm towards others or themselves
- substantially damaged someone else's property
- endangered because they are not caring for their basic needs such as eating, sleeping, clothing and shelter
- demonstrate severe deterioration in functioning ability and are not receiving essential care
- The above is due to a behavioral health disorder
If imminent danger exists, the person will be immediately detained and placed into an Evaluation and Treatment facility for up to 72 hours.