Dog Therapy at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is proud to offer dog therapy as an integral part of our treatment plan.

Providing affection and comfort to patients is the primary purpose of a therapy dog. The therapeutic effect of dogs is that they allow patients to connect with them and feel their love. Watch this video to see how a therapy dog spends their day at Smokey Point.

For more information on benefits of dog therapy for mental health, click on the link below:

The Life-Changing Benefits of Therapy Dogs in a Mental Health Institution

Inside One Family’s Journey to Accept their Transgender Teen

Learn about one family’s journey to accept their transgender teen.


Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital Expands Services in the Pacific Northwest with New Programs for Adolescents and Adults

MARYSVILLE, WA – With mental health at a crisis level in the region, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is announcing an expansion of services for adolescents and adults in Western Washington. New programming includes an Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health Program, an Adult Dual Diagnosis and Detox Program, and extensive Virtual Intensive Outpatient Therapy Programs. 


For Relief and Recovery, Find Expert Help in Smokey Point

Most of us have faced struggles this past year, at least from time to time.

There’s been plenty to worry about, from health threats to job stress and the chaos of remote school and work. There’s been plenty to be sad about, too, from the loneliness of isolation to losing people close to us. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought extreme challenges and extreme emotions, and it’s normal to feel sad or stressed for a while. But if stress or sadness is getting in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row, if you’re struggling to cope or coping in unhealthy ways like consuming excessive drugs or alcohol, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is here to help.

“If you’re in crisis, seek immediate help. If you or a loved one are showing signs of major depressive or anxiety disorder and substance abuse, you can call 360-651-6400 for a free assessment from Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital Certified Mental Health Professionals, 24 hours a day,” says Julian Thompson BSN RN MHP, Director of Business Development Referral Relations at Smokey Point.

Nearly four in ten adults in Washington have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re struggling with mental health and substance use, you’re not alone.

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital inpatient programs

The Adult Dual Diagnosis Unit at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is an inpatient diagnostic and treatment program for people confronted with two challenges at once: substance abuse and an emotional or psychiatric illness.

“No two people will present in the exact same way, and treatment requires a comprehensive approach, not just a ‘quick fix’ with medication,” Thompson says.

At Smokey Point, patients receive a comprehensive evaluation, and a treatment plan personalized to their individual needs. Patients learn ways to manage the symptoms of emotional or psychiatric illness in a healthy, constructive manner, and receive assistance in developing a lifestyle free from alcohol and drugs.

Signs you may need help from a dual diagnosis treatment program:

  • Needing alcohol or drugs to feel normal
  • Difficulty keeping a job, maintaining relationships and making or meeting social obligations
  • Erratic behavior, irritability, anger, depression or anxiety, especially when you stop using substances
  • Extreme emotional highs and lows
  • Financial and/or legal problems, especially if tied to substance abuse
  • Neglecting physical health, nutritional needs or hygiene

“Symptoms vary depending on the addiction and mental illness involved, but learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you and those around you more resilient.”

Talk to your doctor or therapist to find out if inpatient treatment is right for you, or call 360-651-6400. The Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital’s intake department is staffed with certified Mental Health Professionals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are in crisis, get immediate help by calling 911. Learn more about mental health and the services at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital at or follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital Donates Life-Saving Medication to First Responders

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital delivered 10 Narcan kits to the Marysville PD earlier this March, giving them another valuable tool in their emergency response kits when helping local residents.

Read the full article:
Local hospital donates life-saving medication to first-responders

Virtual Care Builds Mental Health Connections, Even When We’re Apart

Read the full article about Virtual Care at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital here.

One Year in: Coping with the Pandemic Anniversary

March 2021 signifies the one-year anniversary of Covid-19 becoming a household name. When we reflect on anniversaries, we usually associate them with celebrations, but this specific anniversary brings forth feelings of loss, grief, sadness, and anxiety, affecting each one of us in different ways.

As our collective losses mount, we continue mourning as a community. The rollout of vaccines has provoked a sense of hope for the future and life beginning to return to normalcy, but until we’re able to fully conquer this virus, we continue to bear with the heartache the pandemic has caused in our daily lives.

Here are some reminders on how to promote and maintain positive mental health as we hit the one-year landmark of the pandemic:

Don’t Scrimp on Self-Care

Self-care is a term thrown around a lot, but experts say it’s often misunderstood. Self-care is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. It means doing things to take care of our minds, bodies, and souls by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. Examples of self-care include meditating, creating art, going for a walk, or taking a luxurious bath. Practicing self-care can really help you feel rejuvenated even as we continue to navigate the disruptions to our daily lives caused by the pandemic.

Train your Brain to be Mindful

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. For example, next time you’re enjoying a meal, slow down, pay attention to and savor each bite rather than gulping it down. Meditating is a great example of being mindful and in the moment, paying attention to each breath can be soothing.

Cultivate Gratitude

It is all too easy to focus on the negatives this pandemic has created, but it is more important than ever we turn our minds to gratefulness. Studies show that people can deliberately cultivate gratitude — and there are important social and personal benefits to doing so. Being thankful and acknowledging the positive in your life is a wonderful way to a healthy, positive mindset. For example, when your mind turns toward negativity, be mindful of this act and name some things you are grateful for. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack.

Garner Resilience

Resilience is the ability to adapt to or recover readily from adversity and major life changes. When stress, misfortune or trauma strikes, you still experience anger, grief and pain, but you’re able to keep functioning — both physically and psychologically. However, resilience isn’t about putting up with something difficult, being stoic or figuring it out on your own. In fact, being able to reach out to others for support is a key part of being resilient.

You will find that practicing the skills of self-care, mindfulness, gratitude, and resilience will definitely help you build inner strength to overcome these very trying times.

If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is here to help and available 24/7. Find out more about our treatment options here. Call us today at 360-651-6400.

Leadership Spotlight: Dr. Ahmed

Although not new to Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital, our Leadership Spotlight focuses on the achievement of our very own attending psychiatrist to the position of Medical Director.

Dr. Ahmed completed his residency at Rutgers University—Newark, NJ, is board-certified with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., and is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine – ASAM. He is fellowship trained in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) from Duke University Hospital and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) from UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital.

In his spare time, Dr. Ahmed enjoys baseball, playing tennis, and spending time with his family.

Congratulations Dr. Ahmed!

Art for the Soul


Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital recognizes and honors the benefit of expressing oneself on mental health, it is an integral part of our treatment plan here. For more information on benefits of Art therapy for mental health, click on the link below.

5 benefits of art therapy for mental health

Resolve to be Resolute in 2021

2021 opened its door a little more slowly and with a little more caution than the new year in years past. A pandemic, civil unrest and financial worries for many due to job loss are just a few of the major concerns that marked the start of our new year. Lots of us didn’t even close out the old year with any real sense of normalcy or of things familiar. Holiday parties for more than just a few were cancelled. Some family gatherings were zoomed. Our homes became our restaurants and our dress up clothes made way for comfy sweats and big cozy slippers. This strange start to our new year may have caused a shift in how we view the “old” idea of a New Year’s Resolution.

There are some resolution standards out there like: save more money, lose weight, or improve relationships. Some work a little harder and really think through the resolution process. Others make no resolutions at all.

This year consider being more resolute: defined as being admirably purposeful, unwavering and determined. Any one of these elements of being resolute can mean that 2021 has real meaning for you; perhaps changing the course of your health (physical and mental), relationships and general outlook on your life. Here are some areas that you might consider focusing on; choose the things you are willing to be resolute about.

Look at your finances in a new way. Although you may need to crunch a little harder at the numbers this year, be resolute about putting aside some dollars, even a small amount that is designed to be for you to spend in a way that would bring joy to your life. A small getaway vacation in the future, a manicure, a massage, something new for you or someone you love is spirit-lifting.

Bring creativity into your life with a new recipe, a new hobby, a new exercise program or do something you always wanted to try! Learning and creativity spark excitement.

Read, write, and listen to stories that warm your heart.

Find a way to exercise. Ever hear of couch potato exercising? It can have a real impact! Be resolute about getting up during commercials and moving with purpose. Jog in place, do some sit-ups or lift some weights. In a one-hour television show, that can mean 20 minutes of exercise. A few shows and you really have some movement time in your schedule.

Reduce stress by volunteering. Helping others helps us.

Focus on you! Your physical and mental health are important. If things start to feel shaky, don’t wait to get the help you need.

At Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital we are resolute about helping you. Our team is available 24/7 and all you have to do is make one call to 360-651-6400 for a free, confidential mental health assessment.