Mental Health in Spokane, Washington
Spokane is a city in Washington State on the Spokane River. Spokane is west of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and it’s just about 90 miles from the U.S. border with Canada. Spokane is the second-largest city in the state of Washington, and there are many parks and outdoor activities in and around the city including Riverfront Park and Mount Spokane State Park.
Top employers in Spokane include the State of Washington, the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, and Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. The top industries for employed adults in Spokane include educational services, health care, and social assistance.
An Overview of Mental Health in Spokane
Spokane isn’t unlike many American cities and towns. While there are positive points of life in Spokane, there are darker sides to the city as well. What’s been happening frequently in Spokane and surrounding areas is that the emergency room is the default place where people go to seek mental health care.
According to a report from the Spokane Regional Health District that looked specifically at youth, one in four local youth in the survey reported being depressed for two weeks or more in the previous year. 15 percent of respondents in the same survey said they had seriously considered a suicide attempt.
There was a 2016 report from Mental Health America which found over half of the youth in Washington experiencing a major depressive episode didn’t receive treatment or mental health services. In 2015, more than 580,000 mental health services were provided to 39,000 people through Spokane County. There were more than one million services related to mental health and substance use disorder provided to more than 55,000 people under the oversight of the Spokane County government between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
Throughout not just Spokane but the entire state of Washington, drug abuse rates have gone up in recent years. There is an average of 15 deaths per 100,000 people in Washington that are attributed to drug-related causes. Of those, 8.6 of the 15 are related only to opiates. Spokane is one of the counties in Washington with higher death rates than the state average. The average death rate in Spokane is 17 per 100,000 individuals.
Every year, more than 44,900 people die by suicide, and in Washington State in 2016, 1,131 residents died by suicide. It was the eight leading cause of death overall in the state. The national average for suicide deaths in Washington is higher than the rest of the U.S.
The use of alcohol in Washington state was believed to have contributed to more than 2,450 deaths in 2010, and 16 percent of adults reported binge drinking at least once in the past month.
In Washington in 2014, there were around 501,000 adults 18 or older who reportedly had a mental illness. Of those, the majority did not receive treatment. 55.6 percent didn’t receive any kind of treatment or counseling, while only 44.4 percent did receive treatment on some level. Overall, the estimate is that around eight percent of residents in Spokane County have a mental health issue or emotional disturbance, which is higher than the five percent rate for the rest of the state.
In 2012, which is when the most recent statistics are available from, the national average rate of divorce was 3.4 per 1,000 people according to the CDC. In the state of Washington, the divorce rate was higher than the national average at 3.9 per 1,000 people. That amounted to it being 15 percent higher than the national average, putting it 14th among 44 reporting states.
Mental Health Resources in Spokane
Spokane and most of the state of Washington does have somewhat limited resources regarding mental health care compared to the number of people who need treatment. That’s one of the reasons so many people end up in emergency rooms with mental health concerns, rather than going to a specialty treatment provider or center.
In Eastern Washington, the number of people requiring mental health care has gone up significantly in the past five years. This is probably in large part due to more awareness of mental illness which helps people be more likely to seek treatment.
Frontier Behavioral Health, which works with Medicaid patients in Spokane, said they have seen an 80 percent increase in new patients since 2012.
However, despite the increasing need, only three facilities in eastern Washington provide inpatient psychiatric care. Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center is the only provider of this type in Spokane County.
Connecting with Mental Healthcare in Spokane
If you are in Spokane or one of the surrounding areas, the most important thing you can know is that there are mental health resources available. We put together the above care provider and therapist directory to help you locate the right services for you, whether that’s individual counseling, marriage or family therapy, psychiatry and medication management, or other mental health care. Our therapist directory streamlines the information you need to connect with a top-quality provider quickly.