Community-Based Treatment


“We are trying to provide 21st century medical care using a 19th century model of care. Large institutions were popular in 1918, but in 2018, we know smaller hospitals closer to home are far more effective for patients. Through a combination of mostly state-run options, we will be able to serve nearly all our civil patients in smaller facilities that are much closer to home and much more able to sustain the kind of supports that ensure patients get the right care at the right time. Gov. Jay Inslee (Policy Brief. December 2018)

Background and History

In 2019, Governor Inslee laid out his vision to provide services for civil patients with acute mental illness in local communities. Serving people in their home communities is essential. This transformation requires developing of a continuum of services that can prevent or divert people from being committed to the state hospitals and can support people in recovery after treatment in a hospital is complete. The interest by Governor Inslee and the Legislature is spurred by Washington’s need to increase capacity for appropriate mental health services, as noted in national mental health rankings. Nationwide, Washington has a high rate of mental illness and low access to care. The state will need significantly more civil beds than our current capacity.

The state is at the beginning of a major reform of the entire mental health service delivery model. As we increase our infrastructure to treat civil patients in the community, the large state hospitals will focus on treating forensic patients while evolving their patient-centered and trauma-informed care approach to treatment. 

The Legislature supported Governor Inslee's concept and, in the 2019 Session, enacted a budget and provided direction to the Department of Social and Health Services to begin the design process for four small, community-based/ behavioral health residential treatment facilities in Clark County and Rochester. These programs are intended to serve patients involuntarily committed on a civil order for a 90-180 day period.  

Several geographic areas were explored to determine suitability based on:
•    access to a qualified staff pool; 
•    existence of other community services and supports; 
•    availability of land and utilities; and
•    composition of surrounding areas. 

Given these criteria, one 16-bed facility on the Maple Lane campus, and three 16-bed units on a site in Clark County, were identified as options to operate these new facilities.

DSHS' Commitment to Community-Based Treatment

In the 2021 Legislative Session, DSHS received support and funding to construct these four facilities. The facilities will serve adults age 18 + who have been involuntarily committed by a civil court order (not criminal) for 90 or 180 days under the state’s Involuntary Treatment Act (RCW 71.05.320 and RCW 71.05.280).

All of the programs will provide inpatient mental health treatment to help patients stabilize their acute psychiatric symptoms, reduce barriers to success in the community, and support the development and implementation of an individualized recovery plan. Following treatment, the program goal is to transition patients back to the community or to a less-restrictive setting.

The facility will be secured 24/7 inside and out, including staff training in security procedures, video cameras and alarms. Fore more details about security, visit the Maple Lane security section.

Maple Lane campus, Thurston County site links

Located within minutes of the I-5 Corridor, the Maple Lane campus is approximately 20 miles south of Olympia, home of the state’s capitol, and 100 miles north of Portland, OR. The campus is owned by the Department of Corrections. DOC has some operations on site with plans for additional/future inmate housing.  DSHS operates (in partnership with a contracted health provider) a competency restoration facility at Maple Lane. DSHS will operate the new 16-bed facility on this campus.

View more details about this facility on the Maple Lane page.

Clark County site links

The Clark County site is a short drive to Interstate 5, the main arterial connecting to the city and other nearby services, making access to critical services, including hospitals, only minutes away. The campus will be owned and maintained by DSHS. DSHS will operate one of the 16-bed units on this campus, and the other two units will be operated by Heath Care Authority-selected contractors. 

DSHS hosted community meetings to provide more information on the proposed Clark County residential treatment facilities.  You can watch the virtual town hall here.

View more details about this facility on the Clark County page.


Public Comment

DSHS will hold community meetings at each of the proposed facilities at future dates. The meetings will share information on project operations, provide responses to questions, and gather community input.  Please sign up for news about upcoming public meetings and updated information.

Comments can also be emailed to