BHA General FAQ

Both the public mental health and chemical dependency  (DBHR youth substance abuse services)  systems have specialists able to assess and diagnose a range of disorders. In the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of mental health providers that are also chemical dependency providers.

To be eligible for public funds to help pay for acute inpatient treatment, the family must qualify for public assistance through the local DSHS Community Service Office.

  • All minors certified for admission to publicly funded CLIP  beds are eligible for Medicaid.

During treatment at Eastern State Hospital, state and federal law protects patients to ensure they are given care, treatment and privileges that enhance their dignity, promote their welfare, and protects their civil rights. To obtain a copy of the rights of patients at Eastern State Hospital, contact the Patient Advocate's office at (509) 565-4520 ( in hospital dial 4520)

Eastern State Hospital believes that patient privacy and confidentiality are of primary importance during treatment. Confidentiality is the basis of therapy and the patient has the right to control access to information concerning treatment and to have his/her personal privacy assured and protected within the constraints of the treatment plan.

It is the policy of Eastern State Hospital to maintain confidential information according to state law as well as the policies and procedures of the Department of Social and Health Services. For patients to receive appropriate treatment and continuity of care, information may be shared among treating agencies and others as allowed by law and necessary for continuity of care.

During treatment at WSH, state and federal law protects patients to ensure they are given care, treatment and privileges that enhance their dignity, promote their welfare and protects their civil rights. 

DBHR provides entry level training for Certified Peer Counselors, but training is not a guarantee of employment. You  must have the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by employers for specific jobs. Positions also require lived experience, sometimes in specific areas such as Veterans, homelessness, or family experiences.  

Although opportunities for employment are increasing, they can be limited depending on your region. The DBHR Office of Consumer Partnership maintains a distribution list for information about available positions, but positions are more often advertised locally and on internet job search sites. Employment opportunities are expected to continue to increase.

Certification has three steps:

1.  Apply and be accepted as a possible training applicant;

2.  Successfully complete a 40-hour approved training; and

3.  Pass the state exam.

Upon passing the test, you will receive a letter confirming you have met these requirements. 

Many employers also require that you become licensed by the Department of Health as an Agency Affiliated Counselor after being hired. Your employer or the Department of Health can provide information about this process. This license is only required for those who provide Medicaid-billable services.

Each patient's treatment team is comprised of physicians, social workers, rehabilitation therapy staff, and nursing staff. They work with the patient to identify strengths and goals and establish a discharge plan. Families and significant others are encouraged to be active members of the patient’s support network.

Peer counselors may work in various settings, such as community clinics, hospitals, and crisis teams. Peer counselors, under the supervision of a Mental Health Professional and as part of a healthcare team, may:

  • Assist an individual or family in identifying services and activities that promote recovery and lead to increased meaning and purpose.
  • Assist individuals and families in developing their own goals.
  • Share their own recovery stories that are relevant and helpful in overcoming the obstacles faced by individuals and families.
  • Promote personal responsibility for recovery.
  • Assist in a wide range of services to regain control and success in their own lives, such as developing supportive relationships, self-advocacy, stable housing, education, and employment.
  • Serve as an advocate.
  • Model skills in recovery and self-management.
  • Complete documentation about their services for Medicaid and employer requirements.
  • 24-Hour Telephone Crisis Evaluation and Triage
  • Mobile Crisis
  • Referrals
  • Crisis Plans

Please contact the Medical Records Department at: 582-8900

When a patient arrives at the hospital, a physician and nurse meet with the patient to discuss the reasons for the admission. A discharge plan is formulated at the time of admission. The patient and staff identify strengths and goals to achieve discharge. The patient is then introduced to the ward staff, other patients, and his/her ward environment.

At the time of admission, the patient’s clothing and personal items will be checked and inventoried. As a precaution against loss or theft, the patient is asked to allow all clothing to be marked with the patient’s name.

Patients are asked to have family members to keep all valuables. Valuable items that are brought to the hospital are maintained in the hospital’s safe. If a patient chooses to keep a personal item in his/her possession, the patient will assume liability for loss.

Patients are not allowed to keep sharp or potentially dangerous items such as knives, scissors, straight and safety razors, cigarette lighters or lighter fluid, or glass containers or bottles. These items will be stored in the Security Office or disposed of.

Since storage space is limited, patients are encouraged to not bring personal property to the hospital other than clothing.

The physician will assess whether a patient’s personal medications should be provided to him/her while hospitalized or if hospital medications will be substituted. Patient’s personal medications will be stored. Family members should not bring medications (either prescription or over-the-counter) to patients in the hospital.

Patients are allowed to keep a reasonable amount of spending money. Money is deposited in an account with the hospital. Withdrawals are made by notifying the designated staff member on the unit.

  • While the law states that a parent can authorize the bringing of his or her minor child to an evaluation and treatment facility, it does not establish specific procedures, responsibilities or funding for transporting minors to an evaluation and treatment facility for evaluation of medical necessity for admission. It does not require law enforcement to transport or apprehend minors in these circumstances.
  • When called upon to assess whether a minor needs involuntary treatment, a DMHP may take the minor or cause the minor to be taken into custody and transported to an Evaluation and Treatment facility providing inpatient treatment. RCW 71.34.600-660
  • If the minor is not taken into custody for evaluation and treatment, the parent can seek review of the decision made by the DMHP in court. RCW 71.34.600-660

You may call the Consumer Affairs Office: 253-761-7575 or 1-800-558-4737

Information coming soon...

  • Child and Family Team or Wraparound is NOT a program, a type of service, or family therapy. It is a process based on the idea that services should be tailored to meet the needs of children and their families. There is an underlying value and commitment to create services and supports "one kid at a time" to promote community-based options to support children and youths with complex needs and their families.
  • Often one or more agencies are involved with the family and work collaboratively with them and others who are close to the family. They function as a team to support the family and each other, working towards common goals.

The CLIP Administration is the central location in the State of Washington that receives all voluntary and involuntary treatment referrals of children and adolescents for the four CLIP programs.  Before a referral is sent to the CLIP Administration, the guardian and community treatment providers must go through a local process and obtain approval from the local Behavioral Health Organizations (BHO).  Each BHO has a process where guardians, mental health teams, school representatives, and support members present their case to the local committee for approval.

Hospital and outpatient mental health services are available to you and your family if they are needed. Some of services include:

  • Crisis services;
  • Individual therapy;
  • Group therapy; and
  • Medication evaluation, prescription and management.

You may also receive employment support services, case management and other services through your BHO.

For more detailed information, please call the BHO for your community listed on the BHO pages or call the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery at 1-888-713-6010.

Interpreter services are available upon request. Most written materials are translated into languages other than English based upon the service area population.

Some community mental health agencies have staff who speak other languages besides English. There is more information on the page for your BHO. If you or someone you know wants services in another language, your BHO must provide language assistance at no cost to you. Assistance can be provided both orally and in writing.

If you need mental health services, an individual service plan will be developed with you. Your plan will consider your age and your culture. You may receive one or more of the services listed above. The plan will be fit to you, according to your strengths and needs. Your mental health care provider will decide with you which services you will be provided and for how long.

Your mental health care provider may also ask permission to work with people who provide you other services such as housing, healthcare, and employment.

Other Medicaid benefits may be available to you. Here are some reference numbers:
Physical health: Contact information on back of your card
Substance Abuse: 1-877-301-4557
Transportation Broker: 1-800-562-3022/911 for crisis

There are two types of formal complaints that you may make. One type is an appeal, which is a formal complaint about an action. An action is a denial, suspension, reduction, or termination of certain services. See Benefits booklet  for more information.