SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – The Spokane County Board of Commissioners have approved $300,000 in funding directed from the 1/10 of 1% mental health sales tax.
The original request from the Northeast Community Center was directed at obtaining funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds that were allotted to the County. After staff reviewed the request, it was presented to the Board of County Commissioners as being applicable for the 1/10 of 1% mental health sales tax.
The Northeast Community Center and MultiCare Behavioral Health are working collaboratively to establish a Behavioral Health Clinic in Northeast Spokane serving low to moderate-income youth and adult residents of Eastern Washington and North Idaho by renovating the former Hillyard Library facility. This will be a $1.85M project which will remodel the former Hillyard Library to create a Northeast Spokane behavioral health clinic that will equitably connect low-income residents to mental health and supportive services in Northeast Spokane.
This project will provide better access to mental health services in Northeast Spokane through:
- Improvement of educational outcomes for low-income children through local access to behavioral health with documented improvements in their behavioral/emotional health measured by improved school attendance, social behavior, and academic engagement.
- Providing an estimated 34,000 therapy visits per year through a combination of telehealth and in-person sessions.
- An estimated 40 – 50 new living-wage positions, a majority that will be full-time with benefits.
- Creation of opportunities for student practicums, both for master and bachelor-level Social Work positions and for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner students.
- Providing internships and opportunities for clinical supervision for non-licensed or associate-level licensed clinicians who wish to become fully licensed.
- Focus on long-term sustainability through fair-market lease of renovated space.
Chair of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners, Mary Kuney, stated, “Our goal in joining this partnership is to fund a project that will help reduce barriers for those seeking care. Even in the best of times we have a need and a responsibility to provide mental health services to our community. We are excited that this facility will also offer educational opportunities for students to receive the practical experience necessary for their degrees.”