Submitted by Grays Harbor County Health
The Board of County Commissioners approved three mental health-related recommendations from Grays Harbor County Public Health Tuesday, February 7, including up to $1 million dollars toward the development of a mental health clinic.
The recommendations grew out of needs identified by studies completed by Public Health in the last year – the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and the Behavioral Health Gap Analysis (BHGA). Both indicated that mental health treatment and intervention options were at the top of the list for Grays Harbor County residents.
Those studies led to the development of the Grays Harbor County Public Health Strategic Plan for 2023-25, which incorporated findings into setting priorities for the coming years. That plan was approved unanimously by the county Board of Health Jan. 26. Included in the plan were four recommendations, three of which were presented to the Board of County Commissioners Tuesday and approved.
Commissioner approval of the recommendations allows Public Health staff to drafts requests for proposals, which will incorporate the major findings of the CHIP and BHGA as requirements for applicants.
The other two recommendations approved Tuesday were:
- Up to $100,000 to develop an initial development plan for a mental health triage model. A triage model is used to assess and classify the urgency of mental health related problems at the point of entry to health services.
- Up to $100,000 to develop a plan for the creation of “community centers” or “third spaces” for youth throughout the county. A “third space” is a place where youth can gather separate from home and school to get them engaged in healthy socialization with peers and get access to needed services.
These funds would come from the county’s treatment sales tax fund, which was created in 2009 for the purpose of operation or delivery of new or expanded chemical dependency and mental health treatment programs and services.