mental health

Washington is unlikely to meet a January deadline to provide jail inmates with court-ordered mental health services within seven days.

A staffing shortage at Western State Hospital has created a crisis situation. Federal inspectors this week determined that patients and staff face immediate risk for harm.

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

  “Hello!” Squeals Drea Lake as she enters her husband Tyrone’s room. They have been married for more than 50 years; Tyrone has had Alzheimer’s since 2002. He recently moved into a nursing home in Seattle, where Drea visits him 5 days a week.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Brian Phillips spent 71 days in solitary confinement this summer. He was locked up in the Thurston County Jail near Olympia, Washington, after he went off his psychiatric medication and had several run-ins with police.

A new national study released this week indicates a shift in thinking when it comes to mental health. A majority of those surveyed say they value mental health and physical health equally. But Idaho remains one of the states with a high suicide rate, and low access to mental health care. 

The state of Washington is on a hiring spree for forensic psychologists. They’re needed to help address a backlog of mentally ill jail inmates whose competency to stand trial is in question.

The state of Washington is under a federal court order to address the issue of mentally ill inmates languishing in jail. But the problem has actually gotten worse, not better.

Idaho ranks consistently among the top states with the highest rates of youth suicide in the nation.

It’s been nearly two years since Joel Reuter fired a pistol from his condo balcony and was shot to death by Seattle police. Thursday, Governor Jay Inslee signed “Joel’s Law.”

Rachel La Corte / Associated Press

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill Tuesday to help prevent gun violence in mental health emergencies. It allows families to request notification when police return guns to loved ones.

It’s called the Sheena Henderson Act and it’s named for a Spokane woman.

Sheena’s husband Chris had been making suicidal threats before police confiscated his gun.

The day after they returned it, he fatally shot his wife and himself.

Friend Kristin Otoupalik said Sheena should have been told about the gun. 

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