With 115 beds, the newly opened Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital in Marysville is the largest facility dedicated to treating mental health conditions in Snohomish County. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

With 115 beds, the newly opened Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital in Marysville is the largest facility dedicated to treating mental health conditions in Snohomish County. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

New hospital to provide 115 psychiatric beds for all ages

SMOKEY POINT — Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital, a $22 million building that will provide a variety of mental health treatment services, has just opened its doors to its first inpatients.

The 72,000-square-foot, two-story hospital at 3955 156th St. NE eventually will be able to treat 115 inpatients, the largest facility of its kind in Snohomish County.

It will help fill a decades-long need for more inpatient psychiatric beds, and is expected to draw patients from Snohomish County and throughout the region.

The hospital will open in stages, and is planning to have all 115 beds available in six to eight months, said Dr. Richard Kresch, president and chief executive of US HealthVest, the company which planned and operates the hospital.

A 14-bed adult unit is now open. Fourteen additional beds for adults with more severe psychiatric problems will open soon.

“We get a wide range of patients,” Kresch said. “It’s not optimal to have everyone on one unit.”

As a new psychiatric hospital, it is opening units slowly to ensure good care, he said.

The hospital now has about 60 employees. When it is fully open, that could grow to as many as 175, Kresch said.

Patients are admitted to psychiatric hospitals for problems such as depression severe enough that they are thinking of killing themselves, bipolar disorder, and people who have both a mental health issue and need treatment for drug or alcohol problem, Kresch said.

Plans also call for an inpatient adolescent unit — the county’s first — to be open in a month or so. “It’s a priority,” Kresch said.

The hospital’s opening will allow people to get inpatient care close to home, allowing family members and loved ones to be involved in their treatment.

Keith Binkley, president of the nonprofit National Alliance on Mental Illness Snohomish County, recently toured the building.

“For us, it’s essentially an answer to many prayers,” he said.

Binkley said he was impressed with the way the building is laid out as well as its design, including the wood, colors and art work selected for its interiors and a garden area for patients to enjoy fresh air.

A waiting room off to the side of the main entrance provides a more private, less overwhelming spot for people in emotional distress to be admitted, Binkley said.

“If you have to be temporarily housed in a facility, this one is vastly different than what you would have seen 10, 15, or 20 years ago,” Binkley said. “This is a caring, therapeutic environment.”

Peggy Ray is program manager for the Arlington Community Resource Center, and similar organizations in Granite Falls and Lake Stevens.

She said she sees the need “at least daily” for people to be hospitalized for mental health problems, which often also involve drug or alcohol issues.

“There’s a huge need,” Ray said. “We’re very, very excited this hospital is opening up.”

Plans for a psychiatric hospital in Snohomish County were first announced in 2013. Letters of support were written by a variety of local people and organizations, including the Stillaguamish Tribe, the Snohomish County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Senior Services of Snohomish County, and the mayors of Marysville and Arlington.

There are three other inpatient services for adults in Snohomish County. Fairfax Behavioral Health has 30 beds at the Pacific Campus of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, as well as a 34-bed unit predominately for adults 55 and older at EvergreenHealth Monroe. Swedish Edmonds operates a 23-bed unit on its campus.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Michael Jensen, left, and Nathan Jensen, right, pick up trash in their encampment that they being forced to clear out of by Parks Department the near Silver Lake on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Annual homeless count could shed light on pandemic’s impact

Snohomish County canceled its 2021 point-in-time count. Officials hope this year’s will bring clarity.

Section of a tsunami high ground map. (Island County)
Tsunami warning fizzled, but future threat to Whidbey is real

State and county officials have long warned about the possibility of a tsunami striking the island.

Judge: Sex abuse of former Marysville student violated law

A woman sued the district last year, accusing a longtime art teacher of sexual abuse in the 1980s.

Darrell Cain, Pierce College Puyallup president and incoming Everett Community College interim president
Pierce College Puyallup president picked to lead EvCC for now

Everett Community College’s board chose Darrell Cain as its interim president.

Christian Sayre (Washington County Sheriff's Office)
$1 million bail for Everett bar owner charged with rapes

Christian Sayre, 35, owner of The Anchor Pub, was charged last week with 10 counts of felony sex crimes.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Democrats ready to ditch the other ‘grand bargain’ of 2021

Here’s what’s happening on Day 10 of the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
Jonathan Kline said a museum would be coming in to take most of the pews from the former Jehovah's Witness church on Morris Road outside Coupeville. The Whidbey Homeless Coalition wants to turn the building into an overnight shelter.
Appeal filed against homeless shelter project near Coupeville

More than 300 neighbors signed a letter saying the location isn’t an appropriate place for the shelter.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
As omicron surges, frustrations and challenges mount in correction facilities

More than 10% of those in state prisons are infected. “We’re kind of in this Twilight Zone cycle,” one prisoner said.

The entrance to the new free COVID vaccination site at the Everett Mall on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free mass-vaccination site opens Tuesday at Everett Mall

Hundreds of appointments are up for grabs at the state-run site, which will offer initial doses, boosters and pediatric shots.

Most Read