Crisis Triage Center

Public Meeting on Expanded Crisis Triage Center Hosted by Whatcom County on March 6th

BELLINGHAM, WA — The County hosted a public meeting at the Whatcom Transportation Authority's Administrative Offices at 4011 Bakerview Spur on March 6, 2018 at 5:30pm to unveil plans and seek public input on the upcoming expansion of the County’s Crisis Triage Center. With $9.5 million in state funding, this project will more than double the capacity of the facility’s behavioral health services for those experiencing mental health and substance use disorder crises. Use the links below to access documents distributed at the meeting.

Click on these links to learn more about the proposed options for expanding the facility:

Visiting the Whatcom County Triage Center

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis and considering visiting the triage center, please click one of the links below for more information.
Whatcom County Triage & Stabilization
Whatcom County Detox

About the Whatcom County Crisis Triage Center:

What is the Whatcom County Crisis Triage Center and what happens there?

The Crisis Triage Center was developed to provide short term stabilization and crisis services to people who are experiencing a mental health crisis or who are in need of detoxification. The goal of the services is to provide alternatives to hospitalization and arrest.

Who uses the Whatcom County Triage Center?

Adults experiencing a crisis due to mental illness or substance use disorder who need a safe, supportive setting to stabilize. All individuals seeking treatment are there voluntarily.

How is it paid for?

The North Sound Behavioral Health Organization covers the majority of operating costs. Medicaid and state dollars fund the services when insurance or other payers are unavailable.

What are the current challenges?

As the only facility of this type in Whatcom County with just thirteen beds, the triage center needs more capacity. When beds are unavailable people needing treatment end up at the hospital, in jail, or back on the streets.

What is being done to expand capacity?

Funding has recently been dedicated to expand the current facility to 32 beds- sixteen for voluntary crisis triage and sixteen more for voluntary detox services. The increased space is expected to be about 12,000 square feet larger than the present facility.

Where will the funding come from?

Much of the funding will come from the Washington State Legislature’s capital budget. Further funding will come from regional sources; the North Sound Behavioral Health Organization will provide $2.5 million . In total, the project is expected to cost approximately $9.5 million which includes relocation costs of current services during construction.

Operations will be paid for primarily with public funds. Local behavioral health dollars (from sales tax) may contribute to ensure seamless care and coordination upon discharge to the community.

What comes next?

Now that funding has been secured and feedback has been collected from the community, the next step is to iron out the few remaining details with service providers and finalize the plans before construction begins. 

What's the Plan for Public Involvement?

Click HERE for more information about the public involvement plan.