Commentary: A bridge to hope — Broadway Campus Redevelopment will provide resources for local communities

 

In Edmonds, mental health challenges and housing insecurity, exacerbated by the pandemic, are rattling our community.

As residents, we see the impact of these issues every day. But many of us, when contemplating what we can do to help, find ourselves at a loss – until now.

Compass Health is building a bridge to hope in the form of a 72,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in downtown Everett that will provide the intensive behavioral health services that are essential to addressing some of our region’s most visible and complex needs. And local residents have the unique opportunity to ensure that bridge is completed.

Through It’s Time: The Campaign for Compass Health, a $14 million capital campaign to fund the facility, which represents phase two of the organization’s three-phase Broadway Campus Redevelopment, Compass Health is providing us with a chance to be part of the solution to addressing the mental health needs of our most vulnerable community members.

The campaign has received generous support up to this point, already securing more than $10 million from lead funders including the Sunderland Foundation, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the Norcliffe Foundation, the Martyn Family Foundation, the Cronin Family Foundation, and Premera Blue Cross, among many significant corporate, individual and family gifts.

However, to reach the campaign goal, Compass Health must raise the remaining $4 million in capital funding needed. This is where we can make a difference.

While the increasingly urgent and visible mental health needs in our area can feel insurmountable and overwhelming, by investing in this project, we can play a pivotal role in bringing a much-needed resource to Northwest Washington – a resource that will deliver numerous evidence-based solutions for Edmonds and our neighboring communities, including Mountlake Terrace.

Compass Health has served as a trusted resource for our residents for many years, providing mental health care to adults, youth, and families throughout Edmonds. It has continued to grow its presence in our community by partnering with the City of Edmonds and South County Fire to implement its Community Transitions program. Through these partnerships, Compass Health has expanded access points to mental health services, connecting those in need with appropriate, recovery-oriented solutions and shifting the responsibility for managing behavioral health issues away from law enforcement and paramedics.

Through inpatient, intensive outpatient and crisis services at its new facility, Compass Health will be even better equipped to help prevent complex mental health conditions from escalating and help divert high-frequency use of emergency services.

The facility is purpose-designed to serve low-income individuals who benefit from frequent touchpoints – sometimes multiple times per day – to achieve their goals for recovery, including housing, employment and connection with their families and support networks. Compass Health estimates it will serve 1,500 adults annually through more than 30,000 points of care such as therapy, medication and case management and other evidence-based outreach.

And recognizing that anyone can experience a behavioral health crisis at any point in their life, the project’s new crisis triage center will offer a much-needed lifeline to stability for all community members, regardless of an individual’s insurance status. For those of us whose families, friend groups, workplaces or schools have been touched by mental health crises, risk of suicide and other urgent needs, we know just how important that lifeline is.

By offering appropriate care options for individuals with intensive mental health needs, and connecting individuals in crisis to immediate care, this facility will alleviate demand on community responders and other local resources, including emergency departments and jails.

Just as important, this facility also represents a solution to attracting the mental health professionals needed to meet our region’s growing demand for care. At a time in which workforce shortages have reached crisis levels, this new, modern facility will help enable Compass Health to recruit the team members necessary to deliver much-needed services.

In challenging times, Compass Health is providing solutions – and it’s time for all of us to act. We implore our neighbors across Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace to join them in this endeavor and support It’s Time: The Campaign for Compass Health. Every contribution brings us one step closer to building a bridge to hope for a healthier community.

To learn more or donate, please visit www.compasshealth.org/itstime.

— By Dr. Gregg Jantz, founder of The Center – A Place for Hope, and Tom Kozaczynski, chief advancement officer at Compass Health

Dr. Gregg Jantz and Tom Kozaczyński are Edmonds residents.

 

    1. It’s on Broadway in downtown Everett — you have to click the link to learn that. Adding the city now.

  1. I have a great deal of respect for Compass Health. As an outreach worker for SHD 20 years ago I had the opportunity to go beyond the steel gates at a facility in Lynwood that was set up for women and children that were in danger. This was a womans only site. It was a building that was long and U shaped and I drove in as I was allowed and stopped at each door and offered other services and conversation. It was great I enjoyed it and they enjoyed it. I also worked with Cocoon House in Everrett. Again the object for me was offereing services to truant youth. Under age. My goal was to get them to Denny Youth sometimes. Sad stories I heard and I loved these kids. Many on the streets for reasons that were so sad. SO yeah these things are great. I applaud Everett for doing this and Compass Health for being just what they are. Caring. Back then McDonald had 2 for 1 cheesburger days. I went every week on my dime and boy they were glad to see me those kids. I wonder about many of them still.

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