The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Mental health

State should open to more therapists

Compass Health has the monopoly in Washington state for treating all mental health patients on government medical aid. People receiving mental health care are supposed to have their privacy protected. Compass' building on Broadway in Everett provides its patients with no privacy shields from the observation of motorists on busy Broadway; the bus stop in front is not even sheltered from rain.
A former 15-year employee of Compass Health told me that when it began, the agency had many Masters-level therapists; it provided day centers such as Strawberry Fields, Marysville, where people with mental health issues could socialize. Now, the agency only keeps enough Masters-level therapists to satisfy insurance company regulations; most current therapists do not have advanced degrees. Strawberry Fields and other places were shuttered long ago, because day centers were not part of the state contract.
It is time for Washington state to open up to all licensed therapists the treatment of mental health patients on government medical aid. Some therapists will allot 5 or 10 percent of their caseloads to the poor, accepting the government's remuneration. This is a compassionate, just solution for individuals, families, and communities.
Rosemarie Dickson Cook
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor:

Josh O'Connor, Publisher:

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.

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