Nationally, Washington state ranks dead last in providing beds for mental health treatment. As a result, people with severe mental illnesses often end up in emergency rooms where they don’t receive proper care. On average, they’re housed in emergency rooms for three days. In some cases, they wait months.
It’s a practice called “psychiatric boarding.” Mental health advocates say it’s dangerous for patients and hospital staff. Brian Rosenthal is a staff reporter for The Seattle Times. He talked with Ross Reynolds about why psychiatric boarding has become an epidemic in our state.
Produced by Andy Hurst.