Mental health matters, says Sen. Patty Murray on nonprofit Family Solutions tour
“In psychiatry, we talk a lot about trauma being the great gateway drug,” she said. “When we have people struggling with poverty, homelessness, addictions and serious mental illness, the kids growing up…with those things lead them to need our services.”
Tracey Arney, clinical director of Family Solutions, said a wider range of treatment options and better access to services are key to addressing the mental health crisis. Unmet demand for mental health care is higher than for physical care, she said, referring to a survey by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing.
Annette Cleveland, director of development for Family Solutions, said the facility’s expansion will help strengthen mental health services beyond the pandemic, as well as increase its ability to collaborate with other local providers. . Cleveland also represents Vancouver’s 49th District in the State Senate.
Murray secured $116 million in funding for local projects across Washington under a bipartisan funding package passed in March. The community efforts that receive funding cover needs in multiple areas, such as health care, climate change and affordable housing.
Deb Drandoff, director of youth services for Educational Services District 112, said federal funding has helped bring trained therapists into schools, breaking down barriers to accessibility that are typically common in rural communities. However, there are availability issues with insurance coverage for students who may not be eligible for care.
Congressional directed spending, also known as appropriations, arrived with Appropriation Bill 2022 after a decade-long ban. It was capped at 1% of total discretionary spending for the fiscal year, which will potentially generate around $15 billion.