The proposed six-story

Seattle mental Health Facilities

Hospitalization - voluntary and involuntaryAt times, an individual with a mental illness may need psychiatric treatment in a hospital. Hospitalization, often referred to as “Inpatient Treatment, ” may occur:

  • when a person is at risk of harming him/herself or another person
    AND / OR
  • when the person’s mental illness is so severe that his/her physical health is being negatively impacted

Do I qualify for hospitalization services under the King County Mental Health Plan?

The King County Mental Health Plan pays for care in hospitals for low-income persons who have a mental illness and who require this level of care. To receive this care, a person must meet:

  • Medical Necessity Criteria and
  • Financial Qualifications

Medical Necessity Criteria

“Medical necessity criteria” refers to whether a person qualifies for specific types of medical services based on his/her current medical condition(s).

Medical necessity criteria for voluntary care includes the following requirements:

  • Proper treatment of the person’s condition requires inpatient services under the direction of a psychiatrist.
  • The inpatient services will likely improve the person’s level of functioning or prevent further decline in functioning.
  • The person has a qualifying mental health diagnosis.
  • The person meets the legal criteria for involuntary care but agrees to the hospitalization.

For involuntary care, the person needs to meet the legal criteria described in 71.05 RCW for adults and 71.34 RCW for children.

Generally, hospitalization is an acceptable alternative after exploring all other outpatient service options. In situations where a safe alternative to hospitalization is available, the King County Mental Health Plan encourages consumers to receive care through hospital alternatives. Hospital alternatives may include intensive outpatient services. When a mental health professional refers an individual for admission to a hospital through the KCMHP, KCMHP staff may offer and discuss several alternatives to hospitalization.

Financial Qualifications

KCMHP financial qualifications require an individual have one of the following:

  • Inpatient coverage through Medicaid,
  • Inpatient coverage through GAU or GAX,
  • No coverage but meets qualification for the state coverage for persons being involuntarily hospitalized for psychiatric care.*

*In these categories, the person often applies for financial benefits during the hospitalization.


King County refers individuals to the following hospitals to provide psychiatric care:

Name of hospital



Population served by legal status

Seattle Children’s Hospital


4800 Sandpoint Way NE

Seattle, WA 98105

· Voluntary

· Adolescents and children

Fairfax Hospital*


10200 NE 132nd Street

Kirkland, WA 98034

· Voluntary and involuntary

· Adults, adolescents, and children

Harborview Medical Center


325 Ninth Avenue

Seattle, WA 98104

· Adults

Northwest Hospital


1550 N 115th Avenue

Seattle, WA 98133

· Older adults

Overlake Hospital Medical Center


1035 116th Avenue NE

Bellevue, WA 98004

· Adults and adolescents

Swedish Medical Center

Providence Campus


500 17th Avenue

Seattle, WA 98122

St. Francis Hospital


34515 Ninth Avenue S

Federal Way, WA 98003

University Hospital


1959 NE Pacific Street

Seattle, WA 98195

West Seattle Psychiatric Hospital*


2600 SW Holden Street

Seattle, WA 98126

· Adults and older adults

*No emergency rooms at these sites

What happens during a stay in the hospital?

  • Each person receives a complete evaluation of his/her mental health, physical health, and a screening for substance abuse.
  • The individual develops a treatment plan with hospital staff and professionals involved in the person’s outpatient care. Treatment planning may also include input from family members or other interested parties. The treatment plan includes a plan for continued care when the person leaves the hospital.
  • Services in the hospital include individual therapy, group therapy, other group or individual services, and medications, as needed.
  • The average length of stay in the hospital is 1 ½ to 2 weeks for individuals admitted voluntarily and somewhat longer for those on an involuntary hospital admission. The length of stay for voluntary persons is determined by his/her needs. Sometimes a hospital stay is shortened if the person decides to leave early. A judge in a civil proceeding may determine the length of stay for a person who has been involuntarily admitted to the hospital. In this case, the hospital will make recommendations to the judge according to the treatment needs of the person.

What happens after a stay in the hospital?

Individuals discharged from inpatient care are linked to additional services according to their need and eligibility, which may include outpatient mental health services, post-hospital stabilization services including referral for residential facility services or other intensive mental health service program, referral to a chemical dependency program, or to other community support services.

Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities Needed
Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities Needed
A look inside Babcock: the vacant mental health facility
A look inside Babcock: the vacant mental health facility
State of MN mental health facilities
State of MN mental health facilities
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