Kirkland plans to build mental health crisis center

March, 13 2023 Connections Health Solutions

A coalition of five King County cities is set to build the county’s first walk-in mental health crisis care center, officials announced Wednesday, a move that comes before a countywide levy vote in April that could add even more such centers to the region.


The crisis center — which would only serve adults — is expected to operate under the “no wrong door” model, which was developed in states including Arizona and Texas and offers timely care to those who need it.


No adults would be turned away, including those who lack insurance, and the center would be equipped to handle people with a wide range of mental health concerns. The center is expected to open in Kirkland in 2024. It could serve up to 14,000 people each year.


lack of crisis centers here is widely acknowledged as a hole in an already overstretched mental health system. The number of King County residential mental health beds is half what it was 30 years ago, and people seeking outpatient appointments can wait weeks or months for care.