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Inslee announces plan to reduce number of patients at state’s 2 psychiatric hospitals

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LAKEWOOD, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has announced the latest push to improve Washington’s mental-health system by reducing the number of patients in the state’s two large psychiatric hospitals.

The Seattle Times reports that Friday’s announcement comes as Washington has struggled to comply with court orders requiring the state to better provide for psychiatric patients.

Inslee’s plan — which would need legislative approval — would seek to end placement of involuntarily committed patients at both Western State Hospital and Eastern State Hospital, a smaller facility in Spokane County, by 2023.

To view a video of Inslee’s announcement, click here. 

Patients who have been referred to the hospitals by civil courts or regional mental-health systems would be moved into smaller, state-run facilities and private community hospitals.

The two state hospitals would still hold patients ordered into the system by criminal courts, as well as some hard-to-place patients who have been civilly committed into care.

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