King County Executive Dow Constantine today responded to the state Supreme Court ruling that ends the temporary boarding of psychiatric patients in hospital emergency rooms.
King County Executive Dow Constantine today responded to a state Supreme Court’s ruling that ends the temporary boarding of psychiatric patients in hospital emergency rooms:
“Psychiatric boarding is a national issue we’ve been grappling with here for years. The state lowered the threshold for involuntary commitment of people with mental illness, while simultaneously closing hospital wards, cutting state funding for mental health treatment, and failing to fund bed space for inpatient psychiatric treatment.
“In King County, we are taking action to increase treatment capacity to prevent mental health crises in the first place, and to ensure treatment in the appropriate setting. But the state needs to step up to its responsibility to provide psychiatric beds for those who need them.
“That’s why the Governor joined with me to convene a task force to work with hospitals and mental health treatment providers to develop the short- and long-term sustainable solutions we need, including a number of proposals we can bring to state lawmakers in the next legislative session.
“I am calling on the Legislature to join us in this work – to provide adequate funding for in-patient psychiatric services, and to ensure the safety of people with mental illness and the public.”