A mental health care provider is moving toward opening two new residential treatment facilities in Poulsbo and Silverdale in April.
AMFM Healthcare, which operates similar mental health treatment facilities in California and Virginia, plans to launch two Kitsap residential homes – both with eight beds: one off Newberry Hill Road and the other near Poulsbo’s College Marketplace development, anchored by Walmart.
Adult clients enter the homes voluntarily, and the average length of stay is around 45 days, said Angeelena May, executive director of AMFM Healthcare Washington. All patients must have a mental health diagnosis, such as schizophrenia, anxiety or depression, but most also have a substance use diagnosis, she said. The large homes sit on sizeable, private acreages, with space for outdoor activities and treatment.
“We find that in a smaller milieu setting, the clients are able to really build up a community with each other and can support each other through their recovery,” May said. “Some organizations will do larger units or campus-like settings, and that can be less intensive. Really understanding when we have smaller groups and smaller clinical groups, people really build trust with each other, are able to open up, staff is consistent, so it’s a smaller treatment team that the clients are working with individually. They’ll really be able to do some intensive work in a short amount of time.”
Typically, patients would come to one of the homes after a hospital stay or after going through Kitsap Mental Health’s Crisis Triage Center, May said, noting that the residential program serves to keep people out of the hospital, which helps to relieve the burden on that system.
In the homes, clients will have a full clinical schedule with 24-7 staff care and will have access to a therapist and substance use counselors, psychiatric treatment and medication management.
“What we see is a cycle between stabilization, going to the hospital for a couple of days, maybe a week, and then going back home and maybe there’s different environmental stressors or there’s not that 24-7 support that they need,” May said. “Typically, they’ll end up back into the hospital setting or a crisis situation again. This is really to provide that in-between, where the clients are stable, but they have the ability to access their therapist, pretty much on call, but they’re having therapy three times a week, psychiatry weekly, and then clinical groups, six to eight hours per day.”
May said the facilities will host open houses for the community ahead of the openings, which are tentatively pegged for April 4.
AMFM Healthcare launched a telehealth program called “Mission Connection” for Washington patients in October and is moving toward opening a facility in Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood as well. May said she could see the provider expanding to opening an outpatient center in Kitsap, as well as launching more residential homes where the need is.
“We plan to expand,” she said, “and we’re fluid and open to what direction we expand based on where we see the biggest need.”
Nathan Pilling is a reporter covering Bainbridge Island, North Kitsap and Washington State Ferries for the Kitsap Sun. He can be reached at 360-792-5242, [email protected] or on Twitter at @KSNatePilling.
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