New University of Washington Behavioral Health Facility Will Expand Workforce, Access to Inpatient Psychiatric Beds in Seattle

Patients of the Behavioral Health Teaching Facility on the University of Washington Medical Center-Northwest campus will get fresh air on sun-drenched terraces and decks (at least in the sunny months), sleep in secured private bedrooms, and spend afternoons in a therapeutic sensory space. 

They’ll meet with resident physicians and other medical trainees and staff in spacious treatment areas designed with teaching in mind — many of the state’s next generation of mental health providers will train here.

The new state-backed mental health teaching facility is among several others nationwide ushering in a new era of inpatient mental health treatment — one that uses intentional design to support the therapeutic needs of those in long-term care. Many psychiatric hospitals were retrofitted from buildings never intended to serve psychiatric patients; the tall, brick-walled Western State Hospital, for instance, is on the site of a historic military fort. The hospital lost its federal certification in 2018 and has been plagued by health and safety violations

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