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News / Health / Clark County Health

State to fund new youth mental health center at former Daybreak facility in Brush Prairie

$16.2 million to come from Washington's 2024-25 supplemental capital budget

By Mia Ryder-Marks, Columbian staff reporter
Published: April 4, 2024, 7:09pm

Plans are in the works to house a new 54-bed recovery and mental health center for youth at the former Daybreak Youth Services facility in Brush Prairie.

The center will be funded by $16.2 million set aside from Washington’s 2024-25 supplemental capital budget. The state plans to purchase the former Daybreak property at 11910 N.E. 154th St. and lease it to staff from Madrona Recovery, a Tigard, Ore.-based rehabilitation center, according to Rep. Stephanie McClintock, R-Vancouver.

The Madrona Recovery model is a residential, short-term program for youth struggling with behavioral health and substance use issues.

Lawmakers and local mental health professionals say the new Clark County recovery center comes at a critical time.

Daybreak had offered resources to stabilize youth who had severe mental health and substance use conditions. But in June 2023, both its Brush Prairie and Spokane facilities closed after the Washington Department of Health revoked the nonprofit’s license. The department said staff at both facilities had failed to cooperate with investigations since March 2022 into multiple allegations of employee misconduct with teenage patients.

The nonprofit continues to fight the closure in court.

Its closure created a gap for children’s residential treatment options across the state.

“That was a big loss,” McClintock said. “There were a lot of kids in there and that was the only place in the area to go unless you went to Oregon.”

McClintock and Republican Rep. Greg Cheney, both from the 18th District, helped secure the new center’s funding.

About $15 million of the funds will be used to purchase the building, $1 million is for construction and infrastructure, and the rest for staffing, McClintock said.

The goal is to open the facility by the end of the summer, she said.

“It’s a huge win, not just for Southwest Washington but for the entire state,” McClintock said.

The recovery center is a step in the right direction, said Kim Schneiderman, executive director of National Alliance on Mental Health Southwest Washington.

“It’s important because we don’t want youth to be dealing with these issues miles and miles away from their families,” Schneiderman said.

Still, she encouraged continued community conversations and education on the prevalence of mental health issues and substance use in children.

“It is not going to go away. Putting your head in the sand and pretending like it doesn’t exist is not going to make it go away. It’s not going to protect your loved ones,” Schneiderman said.

According to a Forbes Advisor study, Washington ranked 31st among states for providing access to mental health care. About 50 percent of Washington youth who had a life-threatening depressive episode in the past year did not receive mental health services.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in Washington for youth 10-24 years old, according to the state Department of Health.

McClintock said the recovery center is critical because children should not receive treatment in the same places as adults. Kids need to be with other kids, she said, and health providers who understand youth mental health and substance use issues.

“Making sure there’s a place for them is really important in their recovery,” McClintock said. “Adding 54 beds for youth who struggle with substance abuse and behavioral health problems is a game-changer for Clark County.”

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

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