Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine

How to Get Services

How do I get mental health services at Seattle Children’s?

  • 1. Talk with your primary care provider

    Ask your primary care provider about services to meet your child’s mental health needs. A primary care clinic may be able to provide mental health services sooner than we can. Also, ask your primary care provider whether a referral to specialty care with the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Department is needed. They will help you with the next steps.

  • 2. We contact your primary care provider if additional information is needed to triage the referral

    Once we get a referral from your provider, we will review the referral and send a fax to your provider if we need additional information. If we don’t offer the requested service, we will fax a notice to your primary care provider with some suggestions for other options and expect your provider to notify you.

  • 3. Once we have an opening for the requested service we will call you to schedule

    Most of our specialty services have a wait.  Some programs require a full evaluation before starting treatment, while others start with a one-time consultation to determine eligibility and match to the service.  When we have an opening, we will call you to schedule.

  • Other mental health resources

    Even if we do not have openings, it is important to get care when your child needs it. There are many resources in the community that can help. Our providers offer a class for families who are seeking mental health services for children or youth under 18 and who are not familiar with the mental health system in Washington state. 

Interested in participating in research?

Even if we do not have space for new patients in our clinics, your child may be able to participate in research. Learn more about our research projects.

In crisis?

If you, your child, family or friend needs help right away, call or text 988. Chat is another option. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources. The Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.

Hotlines for Youth (PDF) provides other options for immediate help for children and teens. (Also available in Amharic, Arabic, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.)