In an effort to build new behavioral health treatment facilities across the state, the Washington State Department of Commerce is now accepting applications for $20 million in grants to local community hospitals and behavioral health service providers, and has begun directing an additional $49.5 million to a list of projects approved by the Legislature.

This funding is part of more than $117 million 2019 capital investment package that advances Gov. Jay Inslee’s five-year plan to transform Washington’s mental health system.

The governor and the Legislature have been working on a bipartisan basis to shift away from a system based on two large psychiatric hospitals to a community-based system with smaller facilities that are suited to the needs of individual patients. The Legislature approved funding to expand discharge placements for individuals who no longer need a hospital level of care, for new substance use disorder treatment facilities, and to create new facility types for individuals who no longer need treatment but who have high behavioral health needs.

Grant program guidelines and application information are posted on the Commerce website. Interested groups must submit applications before 5 p.m. on Nov. 6.