Mental, Social, & Behavioral Health

Options for 988 Specialized Support

People who contact 988 for support have a few options for specialized support:

  • Option 1 to connect to the Veterans Crisis Line
  • Option 2 to get crisis support in Spanish 
  • Option 3 to connect to The Trevor Project, which supports LGBTQIA2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual and two-spirit) teens and young adults

Regional Resources Support 211

For information related to support in your region call 211.

2-1-1 provides access to your local community services. 2-1-1 is available in multiple languages, allowing those in need to access information and obtain referrals to physical and mental health resources; housing, utility, food, and employment assistance; and suicide and crisis interventions. 

Additional Resources

WAISN Resource Finder can help find all necessary resources. We encourage families, caregivers, and community-based organizations to seek systems of support from local school districts as their first responders. School Districts and Education Service Districts are designed to provide unique set of supports according to location and region. 

OSPI provides a number of programs and resources that can help Washington's youth achieve a healthy lifestyle. Through legislation, guidance, grant funding, programs, and webinars the goal remains that all students can be successful in school when their individual mental, emotional, social, and behavioral health needs are met. Please look into the OSPI programs that are beneficial in maintaining a student's mental, social, and behavioral health as well as the drop-down menus for both comprehensive and systems level overviews of supports. 

If you or a loved one are needing immediate mental health support please call 988 or visit  

The 988 Lifeline offers free, confidential, 24/7/365 support for thoughts of suicide, substance use concerns, and any other type of emotional distress. Trained crisis counselors who answer the calls, texts, and chats can listen, offer support, and provide helpful resources. 


Five Resources to Support Student Mental and Behavioral Health
Impacting Legislation 

Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 28A.320.127 requires that all K–12 school districts adopt a plan to screen, recognize, and respond to indicators of social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health (SEBMH) such as, but not limited to, sexual abuse, substance use, violence, or youth suicide.  

WA School Counseling Legislation 

SSB 5030 RCW 28A.410.043

School counselors must be certified and deliver a comprehensive school counseling program based on the national standards for school counseling programs of the American school counselor association. 

WAC 392-348-245

A minimum of one full-time person, or equivalent, shall be provided for counseling and guidance services. Personnel assigned to...counseling and guidance responsibilities shall have a minimum of one year of training beyond the bachelor's degree including.... 

RCW 28A.320.280

Differentiates the roles of 3 ESA's: school counselors, school psychologists and school social workers. Also acknowledges these professionals are involved in multi-tiered systems of support for academic and behavioral skills. 

RCW 28A.320.600, RCW 628A.320.610, and RCW 28A.320.620 

Detail the requirements of district comprehensive school counseling program plans aligned with the national school counseling model and implementation expectations. This legislation requires, among other things, that staff implementing the comprehensive school counseling program spend 80% of their time in direct and indirect service to students.   

Workforce Secondary Traumatic Stress

Substitute House Bill (SHB) 1363 and RCW 28A.300.825 acknowledges the significant toll STS has on educators, and subsequently students, and focuses on the adoption of policy and procedures so that districts and schools can take meaningful steps in supporting their staff’s health and well-being. By implementing policy through the strategic use of professional learning and a continuous improvement process, districts and schools can reduce staff turnover, increase student outcomes, and model healthy behaviors for the entire school community. 


Every other school year, school districts must use one of the professional learning days funded under RCW 28A.150.415 to train staff on SEL or SEL-related topics. For more information on this requirement, please review the Professional Learning Day Guidance

Mental Health Excused Absences 

The Washington State Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) and other youth advocates worked with state representatives to introduce and pass House Bill (HB) 1834: Mental Health Related Absences during the 2022 Legislative Session. 

HB 1834 directs OSPI to categorize a student's absence from school due to a mental health reason as an excused absence due to illness, health condition, or medical appointment; and to develop the rule and guidance to implement the rule in consultation with a student advisory group and the Graduation A Team Effort (GATE) Advisory Committee

Comprehensive and Systems Design Resources

Interconnected Systems Framework 

Effective implementation of school-based behavioral health services and programs relies on a defined Multi-Tiered System of Supports or MTSS. The Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) is a structure and process that maximizes effectiveness and efficiency by blending the strengths of school and community mental health with strengths of the multi-tiered framework of PBIS (Barrett, Eber, Weist, 2013).  

SHAPE System 

The SHAPE Quality Assessment may be used to evaluate and improve the quality of school mental health systems. The assessment also includes a library of additional resources. 

Youth Mental Health First Aid 

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach how to help an adolescent who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders. Some ESDs offer YMHFA training. Reach out to your region’s prevention center director for more information. 

Youth Mental Health Literacy Library Resource 

The Student/Youth Mental Health Literacy Library gives any teacher, school counselor or other staff member a comprehensive resource of professionally vetted curricula and school presentations to easily and quickly compare available programs at their fingertips. The site has three very important features. 

Whole Child Framework

A Whole Child Framework approach transitions from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the long-term development and success of all children.  


Mental and behavioral health resources for students