Sierra Ramos 0

More Beds, Less Boarding

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I am writing today with a simple message:

Support Senate Bill 5644 2015-16 now! This bill will increase the number of psychiatric beds for vulnerable individuals with a mental illness. This bill increases the amount of “single bed” certifications for individuals who meet criteria to be detained under the ITA (Involuntary Treatment Act). These individuals who do not have a permanent placement would be given a placement in a single bed certified facility until they could get into a long term care facility. This would increase the amount of individuals receiving timely and effective care and would decrease the amount of individuals who are “boarded” in emergency rooms in need of psychiatric care.

This is why the issue is important:

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults, 43.8 million people, had a diagnosable mental illness in 2013.

Bed capacity in Washington has fallen from 1,759 in 2007 to 1,507 in 2012 and in a single year, there were 4,566 cases of psychiatric boarding.

Meanwhile, 70% of its counties don’t have any involuntary-treatment beds at all.

In Washington, from 2000- 2010 the population increased by 14%, but the number of ITA certified beds declined by 36%.

Washington ranks 47th for psychiatric beds per population.

We are urging you today to listen to your constituents and to work diligently to move this bill forward.

Thank you for your time.

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