Maria Yang, former medical director of the King County Behavior and Recovery Department, sits on steps near the Seattle waterfront on June 23. Yang produced the first Evaluation and Treatment Decline Report for King County, documenting why different psychiatric facilities have turned people away, including the use of wheelchairs, intellectual and developmental disabilities, trans or nonbinary patients, pregnancy, CPAP machines, and others. One-third of applicants are turned away from crisis centers in King County. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)
(Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)
Mental Health

Why King County mental health facilities decline 27% of referrals

If people are declined from treatment, they often can end up stuck in emergency rooms or released into the community without further care. It’s a delicate balance managing the needs of patients with the care that underfunded and understaffed facilities can offer.