King County crisis center tax: What do you want to know?

By Seattle Times Mental Health Project engagement reporter The Mental Health Project is a Seattle…

King County crisis center tax: What do you want to know?
King County crisis center tax: What do you want to know?

The Mental Health Project is a Seattle Times initiative focused on covering mental and behavioral health issues. It is funded by Ballmer Group, a national organization focused on economic mobility for children and families. The Seattle Times maintains editorial control over work produced by this team.

People experiencing an urgent mental health crisis have few places to get care in King County. Many end up in hospital emergency rooms or, if a crime has been alleged, in jail.

Citing concern for residents’ welfare and strain on the public health system, officials have introduced a new behavioral health levy to provide more treatment facilities and services.

King County voters will have the opportunity to decide on April 25 whether to approve a new property tax levy that would fund five new mental and behavioral health crisis centers.

The levy would raise as much as $1.25 billion over nine years to fund construction of five 24/7 walk-in crisis care centers in different regions in King County to serve people with mental health needs, with at least one specializing in serving youth.

The Seattle Times has been following the measure as it moved through the legislative process to make its way on the ballot.

Stay tuned for details about the levy in a live panel conversation with county officials and mental health professionals.

Still, significant questions remain and we’re pressing officials for more information. As we continue our coverage, we invite you to share any questions you have.

We’d also like to hear from residents who have had personal experience with the mental health crisis system, whether for themselves or a loved one. Would you have benefited from having access to a center like the ones proposed?

Please submit your questions and comments in the form below or by clicking this link. You may also email our team at [email protected].