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Wednesday, September 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Washington state awards grant to Excelsior Wellness Center for substance abuse facility

The Excelsior center is seen in its current location on Indian Trail Road in north Spokane in this May 2017 photo. The nonprofit agency has received more than $2 million to date to support construction of a new facility that officials say will present a continuum of care for youth in crisis and their families. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
The Excelsior center is seen in its current location on Indian Trail Road in north Spokane in this May 2017 photo. The nonprofit agency has received more than $2 million to date to support construction of a new facility that officials say will present a continuum of care for youth in crisis and their families. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The Washington Commerce Department has awarded the Excelsior Wellness Center an additional $500,000 to support its construction of a new facility in the Indian Trail neighborhood.

The grant, a portion of $7.1 million the department is allocating to six health care providers in the state, will be used to build and staff a secure detox unit within the facility that will have eight beds.

The facility is intended to allow families to remain together while young people experiencing substance abuse or mental health issues need targeted services lasting a few days, said Andrew Hill, the center’s chief executive officer.

“The thing Excelsior’s excited about, is that this will strengthen and preserve the family while providing access to the necessary intervention that are going to lead to stronger family bonds,” Hill said.

The new facility will allow families to take advantage of a new state law that took effect last year. That law allows for involuntary treatment of adults and minors over the age of 13 if a health professional determines that person is “in danger of serious physical harm” or has become gravely disabled due to substance abuse. The law requires certain court hearings, and Excelsior’s new facility will have a courtroom accessible through the secure detox facility, according to the center’s application for grant funding filed with the Commerce Department.

“This is a brief intervention and a parent-initiated intervention,” Hill said.

Excelsior has already received $1.95 million to support construction of the facility from the state as part of Gov. Jay Inslee’s five-year plan to update the state’s mental health systems.

The department also announced a $1.95 million grant to support a 12-bed facility at Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital in Yakima, and a $630,500 grant to support programs at Providence Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville.

“These projects are strengthening communities by helping evolve and improve access to quality mental health care throughout the state, and in urban and rural communities,” Washington Commerce Director Lisa Brown said in a statement announcing the grants.

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