Sunnyside hospital wins $1.32M grant for short-term psychiatric services

Yakima Herald-Republic, Wash.January 1, 2014 

— Sunnyside Community Hospital has been awarded $1.32 million by the state Department of Commerce to develop more short-term psychiatric detention services, the state announced Tuesday.

Sunnyside is one of four hospitals in the state to receive the grant money, which totals nearly $5 million statewide.

It’s the only hospital in Eastern Washington to receive the grant.

A news release from the department says the money is for construction and equipment costs of new facilities to accommodate short-term inpatient psychiatric patients.

Admissions in these facilities has gone up recently as a result of changes in Washington’s Involuntary Treatment Act that went into effect in 2012.

The patients the changes apply to are those with a mental disorder who may be “gravely disabled or pose a danger to themselves or others,” and who won’t or can’t enter treatment voluntarily.

A state Institute for Public Policy study found that another 54 new adult inpatient psychiatric beds are needed in to accommodate the state’s mental patients.

The grants are for short-term mental health units with 16 or fewer beds, similar to what Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health is about to open in Yakima with its new 16-bed evaluation and treatment center.

Sunnyside hospital officials said they would respond to the news Thursday.

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