Effort to open behavioral health facility near Olympia gets $1.5M boost

A group recently contracted to run Olympia’s new crisis response team is now working to open a behavioral health facility nearby.

Recovery Innovations was awarded a $1.5 million state grant to open a 16-bed evaluation and treatment facility near Olympia, the state Department of Commerce announced Tuesday.

It is slated to open on South Bay Road Northeast and would serve people from Thurston and Mason counties previously held at Western State Hospital, the state-run psychiatric hospital in Lakewood, or elsewhere, said Jodie Leer, Recovery Innovations’ director of crisis services in Washington.

Leer said her group is still waiting for approval from Thurston County and has no estimate for when the facility might open.

The Recovery Innovations grant is among $7.1 million in state grants the Department of Commerce announced Tuesday. The grants are part of a larger effort pushed by Gov. Jay Inslee to shift mental health services from large institutions to community-based facilities.

Recovery Innovations already runs facilities in Fife and Lakewood. Since January, it has run the city of Olympia’s Crisis Response Unit, or CRU, which is designed to send nurses and behavioral health specialists to emergency calls alongside or in place of police.

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