In a morning statement on social media, Hoquiam Police Chief Myers said that he received word from Columbia Wellness who operates the local crisis center and intervention team that states "staffing levels will drop below a safety threshold that will not allow Columbia Wellness to continue to provide crisis services as of December 12th, 2019."
Myers says "We don't know how this announcement will impact crisis services currently provided at the CRISIS CLINIC in Hoquiam on 8th Street.
We are hopeful there will be other emergency services or measures put into place before or immediately after the closure on December 12th.
Department Focus Point #4 is "responding to persons in crisis". Our officers will continue to do their best in this regard, but we hope there will be resources to refer people to...this is a huge challenge for public safety services and continues to be a priority need in the Harbor."
Crisis Support Unit Closure
On May 1st, 2016 Columbia Wellness expanded their long history of providing crisis support services to the residents of Grays Harbor County with the goal of increasing access to mental health crisis services. For the last three years Columbia Wellness has worked with community stakeholders to create a sustainable and practical resource that would supply a high level of care for those in need.
Columbia Wellness has provided crisis services to hundreds of people in Grays Harbor County. Despite serving hundreds of Grays Harbor County residents, the Crisis Support Unit does not serve the number of patients needed to sustain this service. Grays Harbor County officials, Great Rivers Behavioral Health Organization and Columbia Wellness have been planning and working on solutions to sustain the Crisis Support Unit.
The threat of sustainability has limited the capability of Columbia Wellness to hire and replace the staff accepting other employment. As we continue to look for ways to make the Crisis Support Unit viable, staffing levels will drop below a safety threshold that will not allow Columbia Wellness to continue to provide crisis services as of December 12th, 2019.
Great Rivers Behavioral Health Organization, Crisis Support Unit staff and Grays Harbor County officials have been notified of these sustainability issues and operational plans moving forward.