Working together for our community’s health

We believe in partnerships. In fact, we have been working with countless partners since KMHS began in 1978. We know together we are stronger, and that working together through time we have created a system of care for some of the most vulnerable citizens in our community.

Here is just a snapshot of some of our current partnerships that weave together the work of schools, health care, law enforcement, jail and the courts, housing and much more.

KMHS’ on-site Madrona Day Treatment (MDT) program serves K-12 students throughout Kitsap and surrounding counties. Staffed by a supervisor, therapists, special education teacher, and behavior interventionists, MDT combines evidence based interventions, a supportive therapeutic environment, counseling, case management, and individualized academic instruction to empower a student’s success in a traditional school setting. Students’ develop self-esteem, skills, and gain access to resources needed to feel confident in their ability to return to their district school. MDT staff collaborate with the student’s usual district to plan a successful transition. MDT operates Monday through Friday during the school calendar.

Sequoia Day School, a collaboration with the Bremerton School District and housed at Crownhill Elementary School, is a supportive behavioral program offering individualized academics for up to 12 students. Three KMHS behavioral interventionists and a Bremerton educator together help children develop the skills needed to be successful at school and also assist teachers, counselors and others develop behavioral strategies to best support the students in learning. Sequoia staff bridge to other resources in the community, provide diagnostic placement for children so that interventions can be relevant, and serve as a training classroom for other school personnel, with in-school assistance available for the other elementary schools.

Evergreen Program, another partnership with the Bremerton School District, initiated its supportive behavioral program in September 2012, offering individualized academics housed in Mountain View Middle School in Bremerton. Similarly staffed to Sequoia, the program’s goal is to help middle school students develop the skills to be successful at school and assist district personnel develop behavioral strategies to work more successfully with their students. Evergreen meets daily and has the capacity to serve 12 children.

In-School Program – Five KMHS master’s level therapists provide services in 10 elementary schools throughout the county, through a contract with the Olympic Educational Service District. Schools and parents refer students who may benefit from meeting with therapists, and in collaboration with school personnel and families, to develop an appropriate treatment plan and regularly meet with students. Therapists often work with teachers and school staff to address behavioral needs arising within the classroom environment.

• Primary care is often the first place people seek assistance for their behavioral health needs. Because of this, since 2014, CHI Franciscan’s Primary Care practice physician offices have utilized the services of a KMHS behavioral health professional to provide on-site consultation for their patients. In 2019, the CHI Family Residency Program began rotating their resident physicians through our KMHS Almira campus to gain behavioral health expertise, and correspondingly, to place a KMHS behavioral health professional within the residency and family practice program.

• KMHS has been fortunate to have the co-located services of both a CHI physician, Dr. Hector Reyes, and of Peninsula Community Health Services primary care and dental care services located on our Almira campus. Because illness and premature death is found at a much higher level and at an earlier age among adults with serious mental illnesses, making access to health care as easy as possible goes a long way to improving our client’s overall wellbeing.

Mental Health Field Response Team Embedding a KMHS Designated Crisis Responder (DCR) as part of a Kitsap County Sheriff Department Team is showing its effectiveness in reducing the number of encounters by persons with frequent contacts with law enforcement and in assisting persons in mental health crisis with the appropriate level of support. Intervening during crisis episodes and providing follow-up linking persons to needed services and treatment has reduced further field encounters, and reduced jail and hospital utilization. The Field Response Team is led by the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, supported by a grant from the Washington State Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

Jail based Behavioral Health Team specifically designed to helps individuals who are detained in city and county jails awaiting a competency evaluation or restoration services, and individuals who have previously received competency evaluation and restoration services, who are released and at-risk for re-arrest or re-institutionalization. Funded through a Court Settlement known as Trueblood, this specialized jail team provides screening, intervention, and re-entry services to qualifying persons. The team collaborates closely with the jail staff, prosecutor’s office, attorneys, and municipal, district, and superior courts as well as health, social service and housing providers.

Kitsap District Court Behavioral Health Court contracts with KMHS for a Behavioral Health Professional to perform assessments, diagnostics, and case management services for persons participating in the Behavioral Health Court. Linkage to treatment and other appropriate community resources better supports the individual in their recovery.

Pendleton Place, a 72 unit permanent supported housing project is our newest project under KMHS development in partnership with the Bremerton Housing Authority. Scheduled to open Fall 2021, additional supporter include the United Way of Kitsap County/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the City of Bremerton, Kitsap County, and the State of Washington. The Pendleton Place apartment complex will be staffed 24/7, and provide residences for adults with chronic, serious mental health and substance use disorders, and who are often homeless or at severe risk of homelessness.

Public and Private Landlord Housing Since 1993, KMHS has sought to assure housing for a small number of our clients with chronic, severe mental illnesses who without additional assistance, would likely find themselves without a place to live. KMHS serves as landlord for a number of houses owned by the agency, works hand in hand with the Bremerton Housing Authority and Housing Kitsap to secure placement of clients with severe illness in their public housing units, and also engages with private landlords in the community to house some KMHS clients. Working together, KMHS is able to assist over 100 individuals in securing and maintaining safe, decent, affordable housing.

KMHS and its staff are engaged in a multitude of collaborative relationships and partnerships every day. We have noted only a few above, but on any given day our staff are working together with social service providers such as Kitsap Community Resources, the Housing Solutions Center, North Kitsap Fishline, HelpLine House, DSHS, CPS, Aging and Long Term Care and many others. We are in close connection with large primary care practices, the hospital emergency department and social workers, emergency medical services and other mental health and drug and alcohol providers. We have strong collaborations with child and youth serving agencies such as early childhood program providers, schools, and Olympic College. We are closely connected with non-profit organizations that provide a wide variety of specialized services.

We appreciate the opportunity to work in partnership with our community providers on behalf of the people we serve and the community we live in.

Factors that predict mental health problems can be identified in the early years.