Mental Health


“We face the fact every day that

so many of our folks are in jail
when they should be on a treatment regimen.”

Spokane Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins,
quoted in The Spokesman-Review, May 24, 2007



  • Mental illness is part of life for many in our community.  People suffer with diagnosed neuroses, psychoses, genetic predispositions and compulsions, bipolarity, paranoia and schizophrenia.  Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached, and that prevents people from getting the help they need. There should be no more shame in acknowledging them than acknowledging a battle with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance of a malignant tumor. 

  • Those struggling with a mental and emotional disability are unable to function in society - and sometimes unable to function in their own families. 

  • Returning soldiers.  Many of our returning soldiers have signs of mental health problems, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and conflicts in relationships.  
  • Prison inmates.  More than half of all prison and state inmates now report mental health problems.  
  • Left untreated, mental and emotional disorders may lead children and adults to substance abuse, suicide, or prison. 
  • Many child psychiatrists are overloaded and unable to take on new patients.  Children with serious mental health issues sometimes wait more than a year for a consultation.  These children are at higher risk for school failure, alcohol and drug use, teenage pregnancy, suicide, engaging in risky or criminal activities, limited or non-existent employment opportunities, and poverty in adulthood.  Untreated mental disorders remain into adulthood.  

  • May is Mental Health month.  
Statistics

  • Nationwide about 5% of people have a behavioral health need; but in Spokane, it is about 8%.  "There is a higher demand than we can care for, in both space and health professionals," stated Dr. Kirk Rowbotham. ("New Behavioral Health Hospital," by Grace Ditzler, KXLY 4 News, April 21, 2017) 

  • In 2013, 11% of adults reported poor mental health in Spokane County.  The proportion decreased as age and income increased, and non-whites were more likely to experience poor mental health than whites.  Poor mental health is defined as 14 or more days of poor mental health in the last 30 days.  (Spokane Counts 2015, Spokane Regional Health District)

  • Among Spokane youth in 2014, 33% reported being depressed in the last year in Spokane County.  Depression among youth decreased as maternal education level increased, increased as age increased, and was more likely among females, Hispanics, and multi-racial youth.  (Spokane Counts 2015, Spokane Regional Health District) 

  • 1 in 5 Americans experience some type of mental illness

    Less than 40% of adults and only 20% of children with mental illness receive treatment

    People affected by mental illness are twice as likely to abuse drugs or alcohol

    (Source: Frontier Behavior Health)
  • Homeless population.  It is estimated that roughly 25% of all homeless persons suffer from a mental illness.  ("Compassionately Dealing with Mental Illness in America," Matthew Lynch, Ed.D., Huffington Post, July 11, 2012) 
What You Can Do
  • Become educated about mental illness.  Mental health challenges are breaking some families apart, because they don't understand what is happening or how others are acting or treating members of the family.  When one member of the family is suffering, all members of the family are suffering.  Family members must recognize the need for help, and gain understanding and the tools necessary to cope and work with the situation.  People can often be helped with counseling and sometimes medications. 
  • Encourage others to get help.  Encourage friends and family members to seek professional help to get a proper diagnosis.
  • Learn about addictive disorders, such as alcohol and substance abuse, and teach others.  These addictions can cause or increase mental illness, and are major causes of the epidemic in homeless and prison populations. 
Local Organizations
Additional Resources

In an EMERGENCY -
Help is available 24 hours a day.
First Call for Help - Crisis line
(509) 838-4428

College Students
College Guide for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities
Learn how schools provide needed accommodations for students with psychiatric disabilities.  Support for students with disabilities in college:  depression, ADHD, anxiety disorders, drug abuse/addiction, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism spectrum disorder.
http://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/college-planning-with-psychiatric-disabilities/

Victim Crisis & Sexual Assault Victim Line
Lutheran Community Services
(509) 624-7273

Local Resources
Frontier Behavioral Health
7 South Howard
Spokane, WA  99202
(509) 838-4651
CRISIS LINE:  838-4428
http://www.fbhwa.org/
Our services include crisis response services; individual, family and group therapy; case management and support; vocational rehabilitation; psychiatric and psychological services; medication management and consumer education.

Pioneer Counseling Services
910 W. Boone Avenue
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 325-7232
Spokane provides intensive outpatient substance use disorder treatment and mental health services to individuals who are in the pre-conviction Spokane County Therapeutic Drug Court program and also those who are Medicaid eligible and meet CJTA criteria.  (A program of Pioneer Human Services, now accepting referrals from other agencies)

Pioneer Center East
3400 W. Garland Avenue
Spokane, WA 9205
(509) 325-2355
A 48-bed semi-secure residential facility specializing in treating behaviorally challenging, treatment-resistant, high-need individuals who have been unsuccessful in other substance use disorder treatment programs.  (A program of Pioneer Human Services, providing services for people with criminal histories, substance use disorders and mental health issues, now accepting referrals from other agencies)

Tamarack Center
2901 W. Fort George Wright Dr
Spokane, WA 99224
(509) 326-8100
http://www.tamarack.org/index.html
An adolescent psychiatric residential treatment program, serving ages 12 to 17, that need more intensive services than outpatient service can provide.

Psychiatric Hospitals
Eastern State Hospital
850 Maple St
Medical Lake, WA  99022
(509) 565-4000
Washington State 287 bed inpatient hospital.

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children's Hospital
101 W. 8th Avenue
Spokane, WA 99204
(509) 474-3131
Providing emergency and short-term inpatient psychiatric care. Providing 48 adult beds and 24 pediatric beds dedicated to this service, in addition to 8 psychiatric beds in the emergency department.

There is a higher demand than Providence can accommodate at this time.  Providence says that nationwide about 5% of people have a behavioral health need; but in Spokane, it is about 8%.  There is a higher demand than we can care for, in both space and health professionals, stated Dr. Kirk Rowbotham.   

A new Inpatient and Emergency Psychiatric Care hospital is expected to open for patients in the next Fall, located at 5th and Browne, Spokane, WA.  This hospital will house 100 beds for people seeking short-term hospital care for mental health illness.   ("New Behavioral Health Hospital," by Grace Ditzler, KXLY 4 News, April 21, 2017) 

National Resources

Mental Health - Federal Government
This website maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains an up-to-date listing of toll-free hotlines accessible to people living with mental illness.
https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-help/
National Advocates for the Mentally Ill
1-800-782-9264
(Seattle)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots organization in the country that supports people living with mental illness. NAMI maintains a toll-free hotline to provide advice and medical referrals. Representatives from the organization also work closely with lawmakers nationwide to ensure fair and equal protection for people with mental health issues. 
https://www.nami.org/About-NAMI
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
The leading federal agency in the field of mental health research, NIMH is one of 27 branches of the National Institutes of Health. The NIMH website is a compendium of news, published reports, academic journals, data tables, and other academic resources.
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml
Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC)
This nonprofit organization has worked to promote mental health treatment and fight social stigma related to mentally ill individuals for nearly 20 years. TAC also collaborates with researchers to publish the latest developments in medication and treatment for mental illnesses. 
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/about-us