Compass Health Community Transitions Program Brings Mental Health Professional with Lynnwood Police Department in New Partnership Serving Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace


LYNNWOOD, Wash .– (COMMERCIAL THREAD)–Today, Health Compass and the Lynnwood Police Department announced a partnership to implement the Compass Health Community Transitions Program, integrating a mental health professional into the Community Health and Safety Section of the Lynnwood Police Department. The program, funded by a grant from the Verdant Health Commission, aims to reduce high frequency use of emergency services by responding to community members at risk in Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.

“With this initiative, our goal is to meet people where they are and connect them with the right resources so they can get help – whether it’s medical care or treatment. mental health or addiction, transportation or food aid – we really want to foster continuity of care, ”said Charissa Westergard, director of healthcare integration at Compass Health.

In light of the growing impact of COVID-19 and the need for an appropriate law enforcement response to address mental and behavioral health challenges, the goal of this partnership is to manage the needs in this area. health and safety of individuals and the community through collaboration, awareness and engagement.

“Many of the people we meet in the Community Health and Safety Section have behavioral or physical health issues related to homelessness or substance abuse. We recognize that they could benefit from additional support beyond what we as law enforcement can provide, ”Lynnwood Police Department Sgt. Justin Gann said. “By engaging with these community members alongside our new social worker, we hope to shift their use of 9-1-1 and emergency services to more appropriate resources, based on their needs.”

Compass Health Integrated Mental Health Professional Heather Turner will accompany Community Health and Safety Officers from the Lynnwood Police Department, meeting with people from Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.

“I am excited to be a part of this collaborative effort to look at this challenge holistically and provide care to people with the goal of empowering and supporting them,” said Turner. “It’s an amazing opportunity to get to know members of the community and build relationships. People sometimes call 911 because they have unmet needs, but they don’t know where to turn. This program intervenes to provide them with the right care at the right time.

Compass Health first implemented the Community Transitions Model in partnership with South County Fire in Snohomish County in 2016. It is a tool in the Behavioral Health Provider’s Community Intervention Service suite. , which also includes crisis outreach through Mobile Crisis Awareness Teams (MCOT), the new Integrated Police and Crisis Teams (IMPACT) model, as well as ongoing coordination of non-emergency care and services such as community outreach and recovery support teams.

“The Community Transitions program is one of the cornerstones of our suite of community intervention services at Compass Health,” said Westergard. “Our goal is to provide quality services that translate into better results and support a positive experience for customers; and because people access the types of services that suit their needs, we are able to use resources more effectively for more people.

Virginia Clough, Director of Community Relations for the Town of Mountlake Terrace, added, “The Town of Mountlake Terrace is thrilled to be a part of this innovative program to address some of the monumental challenges our communities face on a daily basis. By pooling our resources and working together, we can make an impact one person at a time.

With funding from Verdant, the partnership with the Lynnwood Police Department will fill the service gap for people who are not necessarily in crisis, but who need additional support, including access to treatment. mental health and addiction, housing assistance, food stamps, hygiene sites and Suite.

“From the start, we recognized that this model could really transform the way the community operates and responds to those in need,” said Lisa Edwards, Superintendent of the Verdant Health Commission. “We are honored to support the program and congratulate Compass Health, the Lynnwood Police Department and Mountlake Terrace for their commitment to finding a solution that will address some of our region’s greatest challenges and meet the needs of our neighbors across the country. South Snohomish County. ”

For more information on the Community Transitions program, please visit:

About Compass Health

Compass Health is Northwestern Washington’s leader in behavioral health. A community health care agency, Compass Health integrates behavioral health and medical care services to form a key section of the community safety net and serve clients and others in need of care and support. From comprehensive mental health treatment to crisis prevention and response, supportive housing, children’s services, community education and more, the non-profit organization serves people of all ages in Snohomish, Skagit, Island, San Juan and Whatcom counties.

About the Green Health Commission

The Verdant Health Commission funds a wide range of programs that empower people in South Snohomish County to make healthy decisions and get the care they need to stay healthy. For nearly half a century, we have served the health needs of our community by operating the local community hospital. We are now focused on investing in innovative programs that will have a lasting impact on the health and well-being of South Snohomish County residents, with $ 8.2 million in grants awarded in 2020. Verdant also offers grants. free or virtually inexpensive education and prevention courses. and in person at the Verdant Community Wellness Center in Lynnwood.