Kitsap Mental Health earns state's kudos

Kitsap County Mental Health Services has earned plaudits, bettering the state average in every category of service measurement.

The data was compiled by the state of Washington, which measured all comparable agencies with the same criteria.

Among the findings, KMHS spends 37 percent less than other agencies and used 43 percent fewer of its allocated beds.

That’s in keeping with its philosophy, KMHS director of development and community relations Rebecca Wilson said,

“We strive to minimize hospitalization. When you keep clients in the community, closer to family and friends, it’s better for mental health than long-term institutionalization.

“Mental illness is not as stigmatized today because people are more aware of the causes,” Wilson said. “It doesn’t come from anything a person has done. In many cases, it can be cured. We’ve found many ways to improve the treatment, and some of the medications are extremely effective.”

KMHS is allocated approximately $16 million annually in Medicaid funds. Most of its clients are Medicaid patients, but any Kitsap County resident can benefit from the program.

KMHS’ service record is also higher than average. It served 11.4 percent of the county’s Medicaid-eligible population, compared to the state average of 8.1 percent.

The agency was also recognized by Eli Lilli and Co. as well as Comprehensive NeuroSci-ence for its development of innovative programs which enhance the delivery of behavioral heath care.

KMHS serves approximately 4,500 clients per year. It is located in Bremerton with ad-ditional facilities in South Kit-sap.

It has nearly 50 collaborative arrangements with schools, courts and social service agencies.

For more information call (360) 425-4020.

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