Depression. Anxiety disorders. Suicidal thoughts.
Mental health issues have taken center stage in America with increased reports of depression, suicide rates, drug addictions and signs like mass shootings. It’s common to hear some say mental-health care is an area in which the health care system falls short.
But Providence Health Care in Spokane is taking a step toward improving treatment.
Providence on Thursday unveiled a new clinic to serve patients with mental illness through a new intensive day-treatment program called RISE. The clinic had a ribbon cutting at the Providence Holy Family Hospital Medical Building, 235 E. Rowan Ave., where about 50 people toured the new facility.
“It’s that missing gap in the community,” said Jennifer Semenza, for Providence Health Care spokeswoman.
Patients as young as 13 will be admitted and see community rooms, counseling rooms, art therapy spaces and yoga rooms in the newly renovated space that’s designed with a community atmosphere. The clinic, funded by $400,000 in grant money from Providence Health Care Foundation, is meant to address many issues, including being a next step after patients leave an emergency room after treatment for things such as panic attacks.
Patients will receive services that include counseling, training, yoga and meditation through RISE, which stands for Resources, Insight, Support and Empowerment.
“It’s the only program like it east of the Cascades,” said Tamara Sheehan, behavior health director at Providence Health Care.
Sheehan oversees 13 staff members, who are trained psychologists or licensed independent social workers. The clinic will be open during the day Monday through Friday.
The first patients will be adolescents ages 13 to 17, who will be accepted Sept. 17. Adults 18 and older will be accepted beginning Oct. 15. The clinic holds 10 adolescent spots and 15 adult spots.
Joyce Cameron, Providence Health Care Foundation chief development officer, is on the board that funded RISE. She remembers during the early dicussions about the program that she was deeply affected by a young man who jumped off the Wells Fargo building in downtown Spokane, where her office is located, she said.
“We were in the discussion phase (of funding RISE), and it affected everyone,” she said.
Cameron said she’s thought about that incident every day while helping fund RISE, which she said is a much-needed service to help people in the community like the man who ended his life.
In Spokane County, adolescent depression has been increasing since 2010 and in 2016, 32.8 percent of adolescents reported being depressed, according to the Spokane Regional Health District. Depression can lead to drugs and alcohol addictions, but resources like the RISE center will look to prevent that among youths before it develops further in adulthood.
How to be admitted
Patients can be admitted to the clinic via self-referral or through referrals from emergency rooms, a primary physician and schools, Sheehan said. But it’s not a place to go for emergency care. The clinic can’t admit patients who show up at the door unannounced.
Entering the RISE program is completely voluntary. The clinic will work with the patient’s insurance for payment.
The clinic space is split into an adolescent branch and an adult branch. Adults can come and go during the day, but they are able to receive treatment daily.
It also keeps in communication with schools, families, doctors and support services after a patient completes treatment.
“This isn’t just come in, do therapy and leave,” Sheehan said. “Each patient has their own plans and goals for treatment. This work is their work. How do we help them get to where they need?”
The clinic doesn’t allow drugs or alcohol, and Sheehan said the goal is to expand into a substance abuse program.
For more information on referrals, call (509) 252-6446.