For almost twenty years CSNW has, in one form or another, been serving Clark County and SW Washington. Our commitment to improving the community is written into the lives of many residents.
Mental Health Northwest (MHNW) was first licensed as a Community Mental Health Center in October 1998. At that time, the agency was operated by PeaceHealth Saint John’s Medical Center in Longview and co-located with their outpatient Chemical Dependency program, Recovery Northwest. Over the next 4 years MHNW grew as it developed innovative programs and offered provider choice to consumers with mental illness. However, in September 2002 PeaceHealth reorganized and decided to close the program with little over two months notice given to staff and Clark County. Staff of MHNW asked the county if they would keep the agency open if it could incorporate and be ready to assume contract responsibilities by the time PeaceHealth withdrew. The County agreed, and by December 1, 2002 MHNW had a Board of Directors and was incorporated as a private not-for-profit agency. Client care continued without interruption at the same facility.
A year later, PeaceHealth decided to close Recovery Northwest as well and leave Clark County altogether. MHNW and Recovery Northwest had been co-located since 1998: both programs placed a strong emphasis on serving low income clients, on co-occurring disorders, and on improving access, so the fit of mission and values was a natural one. MHNW agreed to assume operation of the chemical dependency treatment program, renaming it Northwest Recovery Center, and by December 2003, the transition from PeaceHealth to MHNW was complete.
In 2006, CSNW clinicians identified homelessness and lack of affordable, supported housing as a primary source of instability among individuals and families receiving mental health and addictions services. Stable living environments allow clients to focus on treatment and recovery. In response to the growing need, CSNW began to develop supportive housing programs designed to assist clients in achieving and maintaining housing stability. By 2009, CSNW successfully developed and acquired funding for seven permanent and transitional supportive housing programs.
MHNW took the lead in opening the Wellness Project in January 2004. The Wellness Project is a free mental health clinic that provides mental health counseling for low income and uninsured individuals. It is located at 39th and Main Street in Vancouver.
Today Community Services NW serves over 1700 clients for a broad range of services. We have been recognized by Clark County for our outstanding service to public health, and continue to innovate change.