School-Based Health Centers to Expand Services

From the King County Best Starts for Kids blog:


Best Starts for Kids is partnering to expand services at 15 existing school-based health centers to meet emerging needs for mental health care, substance use prevention, and health care services. We’re thrilled to announce new awards to 7 community-based service providers to make medical staff more available to students, coordinate care with school staff and parents, and add needed services like substance use screening and treatment.

For example, Swedish Medical Center will add a Substance Use Prevention and Intervention Specialist to their care team at Ballard High School to address higher-than-average alcohol and marijuana use among students. The specialist will help student groups and parents better understand the risks of using marijuana and alcohol in adolescence, as well as provide individual counseling to students struggling with their use.

Funded services vary to meet the specific needs of students at each school. Additional example programs include:

  • International Community Health Services will make culturally and linguistically reflective mental health care, substance use prevention and screening, and treatment services consistently available to students at the Seattle World School health center.
  • Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic will expand mental health provider availability at Beacon Hill and Madrona Elementary Schools, and increase staffing to coordinate care between students, parents, and teachers.

The awards will expand services at existing school-based health centers in Seattle and Highline School Districts. Funds range from $23,000 to $77,000 per year and will support services for up to three years. The new services complement Best Starts’ current investment to build 3 new school-based health centers in Renton, Bellevue and Vashon Island. With the addition of these new health centers, King County is now home to a system of 31 comprehensive school-based health centers, with 6 additional clinics offering mental health services only.

See here for the full blog post as well as full list of community-based providers receiving funds to expand, and the schools they will serve.