Thursday, June 29, 2017

UPDATED, 7/25/2022: The Status Of Mental Health Care At EvergreenHealth

Image result for Dale Chihuly art installation images
"The many colors of  bipolar mood disorder"
Dale Chihuly art (Internet) 
The National Association of Mental Health says 1 in 5 Americans suffer from a mental health condition in a given year and only half get treated.  COVID brings this home.

Years ago, EvergreenHealth planned 14 transitional care beds to keep their mentally-ill patients from being "boarded" in the Emergency Department.  

They later decided against building the unit and instead remodeled the ER to partition  7 "Rainier beds" to manage their acute mentally ill until services could be found.  They sponsored a community awareness event several years ago emphasizing 1 in 4 have a mental health "disease." It was an excellent free educational forum; surprisingly none of the 7 commissioners attended.   

Staff was considering an "Outpatient Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic' in 2020 but  momentum was lost by onset of the pandemic.  

For your friends and family needing psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, Overlake Medical Center offers a wide variety of premier services, including hospital beds. 

EvergreenHealth has an "in -home mental health service," restricted to adult King county medicaid patients living distant from Evergreen.  An application is required. 

Several "soft" programs are offered,  including:  1) a  levy-supported "Community Health Access Team."  2) Smokey Point behavioral health evaluations, 3) Grief and Bereavement Services, 4) Social work youth suicide program with L.W.S.D. (no other district, 5) Perinatal mood, anxiety clinic.  

[Not to be critical, but I had a terrible experience with Grief and Bereavement Services.  We were coached by a volunteer.  I left more depressed and anxious than before.]   

COVID brought to the surface the explosive incidence of depression, anxiety, suicide, OCD, and substance abuse.  Virtual psychiatric evaluations, diagnosis, therapy and treatment have proven to be effective. Evergreen should jump all over this opportunity.

Bob Yoder,  updated:  7/25/2022

Glass artist Dale Chihuly is struggling with his mental health. Now 76 and still in the thrall of a decades-long glass artist career, he discussed his bipolar mood disorder for the first time in an interview with The Associated Press.   Several  photos of his amazing glass art are included in this article.  


  1. Hi Bob,

    Thank you for being open about mental health and the challenges with it. I grew up with an older sibling who has borderline personality disorder. Being the younger I got a lot of the flak. I read "Stop walking on Eggshells" by Mason and Kreger. A difficult read, but a necessary one. I actually feel sorry for her and wish she would get help.

    She was so sweet and in less than 5 seconds would turn into a monster! Shen she got married much later in life, my brother discussed whether we should warn her future husband, we did not. She and I are not on speaking terms.
    Thanks again,

    Peter McDonald

  2. Hi Peter,

    Sorry to hear your struggles. I looked up BPD on the web. The article recommended:

    Remember the 3 C's rule

    Many friends or family members often feel guilty and blame themselves for the destructive behavior of the borderline person. You may question what you did to make the person so angry, think you did something to deserve the abuse, or feel responsible for any failure or relapse in treatment. But it’s important to remember that you’re not responsible for another person. The person with BPD is responsible for his or her own actions and behaviors.

    The 3 C's are:

    I didn't cause it.
    I can't cure it.
    I can't control it.

    I hope things improve for you and your family.

  3. It’s unfathomable that a hospital can get the ratings that they get without providing some inpatient mental health. They are putting their patients off to one of two mental health facilities on the east side that are at full capacity and unable to take anybody who isn’t suicidal or danger to the public. As we all know there are many others who need treatment and sometimes it needs to start with inpatient. It’s sad that we are shipping our patients out to other states because we cannot provide it here. Evergreen is making an irresponsible healthcare decision by not funding an inpatient mental health unit. If it’s not on the levy don’t vote for it! That’s the best way you can send a message.