To the editor — The Legislature made some progress this session in addressing our current mental health crisis, allocating more money for the state’s mental health hospitals (“Washington Legislature adjourns,” March 30).
While this investment is absolutely critical, community health centers would like to see equal focus on the early intervention and prevention side of the mental health system. Investments in early intervention give taxpayers more bang for their buck and work hard to keep people out of expensive acute care.
There is much work to be done on this side of the equation, including building a larger workforce of behavioral health specialists and integrating them more into primary care settings. If the Legislature is serious about fixing our mental health system, they must look upstream for more cost-effective solutions.