Mental Health Resources for Fall 2021

Roz Thompson, Government Relations & Advocacy, AWSP
Nov 01, 2021


This week, we hosted a Zoom on the topic of mental health. Our guests included Representative Lisa Callan who co-chairs the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Work Group (CYBHWG), Representative Carolyn Eslick who is the co-chair for a sub-group of CYBHWG (Youth and Young Adult Continuum of Care), and Representative Monica Stonier who led the efforts last legislative session to pass HB 1225 which established a School Based Health Center Program within the Department of Health.

We were also honored to be joined by Ella Deverse, Program Supervisor for OSPI’s School Safety Center; Eric Bruns and Kelcey Schmitz from the UW SMART Center (School Mental Health Assessment, Research, and Training Center); Jill Patnode, Thriving Schools Program Manager for Kaiser Permanente WA; and Melissa Carpenter from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation

All of these amazing experts shared updates on work they are doing to integrate systems and provide more support for behavioral and mental health to students and staff in schools. For example, the CYBHWG has released its top legislative priorities for 2022 which include increasing the Medicaid rate directed to community behavioral health agencies, funding a strategic plan for our state for prenatal to 25 year olds related to behavioral health services, funding startup activities for behavioral health integration in primary care settings, and providing grants to put more behavioral health clinicians in schools. 

School leaders who attended shared how critical and urgent it is that students receive additional support and that they are very concerned about the well-being of their staff members. School leaders also made the point that the schools’ role is to provide education and to be the connector to additional services and not necessarily always be the provider. Both systems (health care and education) are under stress due to staffing shortages, but continued work to integrate services is needed. 

We greatly appreciate our partnership with all of these people, and will continue to share updates about work going on in this area. Several important resources were shared with our group and they are linked below. 

School Safety and Student Well-Being Advisory Committee (SS-SWAC)

Northwest MHTTC School Mental Health

Kaiser Permanente

Home - Thriving Schools | A partnership for healthy students, staff & teachers
Thriving Schools Integrated Assessment

SHB1363 establishes that OSPI will publish links to resources and self-assessments to prevent and address workforce secondary traumatic stress.  In addition to requirements at the state level, WSSDA was required to develop a model Policy 5515 and Procedure 5515P to prevent and address secondary traumatic stress.

WSSDA Guidance on SHB1363 in Policy & Legal News June edition

Filling Your Cup: eLearning Companion Guide for School Leaders

Staff Well-Being Webinars 
Tuesdays, 3:30 to 4:30 PM Pacific, Oct. 19 (PD Enroller), Nov. 2 (PD Enroller) & Nov. 16 (PD Enroller

Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Resources for Staff Well-Being

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation invites Washington educators, district and school staff to join free staff well-being webinars. Live, interactive professional learning on self-care and stress management are designed to be accessed individually or in teams. District-wide workforce health committees may leverage the webinars to support implementation of the new Secondary Traumatic Stress legislation (5515, 5515P). If you cannot attend the live webinars and want to receive the recordings, click here to register. Clock hours through OSPI are offered as well as points for participating through SmartHealth.

US Department of Education
Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Needs (PDF)

Self Care for School Leaders
(Resources Compiled by Gina Yonts, Associate Director at AWSP)

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