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Caregivers urge UW Regents to stop plans to close psych unit

SEATTLE — The caregivers and staff who provide inpatient psychiatric services at the University of Washington Medical Center are urging all union members and community supporters to show their support for maintaining critical mental health services at UWMC.

TAKE A STAND! — Join them as they pack the room of the UW Board of Regents meeting on Wednesday, May 9. At 5 p.m., supporters will gather outside the main entrance of the UW-Seattle campus’s Gerberding Hall on Red Square and attend the 5:30 p.m. meeting inside. This action is organized and supported by the Washington State Nurses Association, the Washington Federation of State Employees, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and SEIU Local 925. Download this flier for more details and a campus map.

In April, nurses in the UWMC’s psychiatric unit known as Seven North learned that UWMC was considering closing part or all of their unit. The closure would have resulted in fewer mental health care beds at a time Washington state is already facing a severe shortage. After a public outcry, the UWMC announced a plan to hold off on closing its psychiatric unit until next year, when it plans to open new mental health care beds at another facility at Northwest Hospital.

See more coverage of the issue in The Stranger.

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