What is Washington’s Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens?

We connect families with mental health providers in your community who accept new patients, work with your insurance and fit your child’s treatment needs. The Referral Service is accessible to children and teens 17 and under living in Washington state. Teens between the ages of 13 and 17 can also call the Referral Service to find providers for themselves.

See our program highlights from the Referral Service.

For information about the Referral Service in another language, please download one of the informational flyers about our program linked below. All flyers are PDFs.

How to Use the Mental Health Referral Service

Interpreter Services

  • To call our program using an interpreter, call 866-583-1527.
    • Listen for your preferred language and select the number provided.
    • You will be placed on a brief hold while an interpreter is selected.
    • Once an interpreter is on the line, ask them to call our program directly at 833-303-5437.

Information for Teens 13+

  • Teens must be 17 or younger to qualify for our services.
  • Teens who are 13 and older can call the Referral Service to find mental health providers for themselves.
  • As per Washington state law, we will not share your information with your parent/guardians without your consent.

What can families expect?

  1. Call 833-303-5437 or submit an online form to schedule a call with a referral specialist.
  2. A referral specialist will call you to discuss in detail (15–20 minutes) the mental health services your child/teen needs.
  3. The referral specialist will research mental health providers in your area to find 1 to 2 providers that meet your family’s needs.
  4. A referral specialist will call and email to provide information on accessing the identified providers.
  5. Two to four weeks after receiving your resource email and call, the referral specialist will reach out to see if the referrals resulted in an appointment and if the provider was a good fit. We address any barriers experienced and find another provider if needed.

Our service works closely with primary care providers throughout Washington state and faxes the referral matches to your primary care provider for care coordination. For families with Apple Health insurance, referral matches are sent to Apple Health case managers to provide additional care support.

Learn about mental health resources, support and education videos for you and your family.

Washington state funds the Mental Health Referral Service, and it operates at Seattle Children’s Hospital Partnership Access Line (PAL) program.

Primary care providers, learn more about the service.

    • How does the referral service find a good fit for my child?

      Washington’s Mental Health Referral Service keeps a database of mental health providers that we update each day. Information comes from health plan provider lists and other sources that we check for accuracy. Our staff also calls mental health providers in different parts of the state to see if they have openings. 

      The database includes:

      • If the mental health provider has openings for new patients
      • Provider’s specialties and the types of treatment offered
      • Which health insurance or state programs cover the provider
    • Who are the Referral Specialists?

      Our mental health referral specialists are trained in evidence-supported models of coaching and relational support.

    • Is this referral service part of Seattle Children’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Program?

      No. Seattle Children’s operates the Mental Health Referral Service for Washington state. The service is for children and teens from across our state. Your child does not need to be a Seattle Children’s patient.

    • For which holidays will the referral service be closed?

      2024 holidays

      • New Year's Day – Monday, January 1
      • Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Monday, January 15
      • Presidents' Day – Monday, February 19
      • Memorial Day – Monday, May 27
      • Juneteenth – Wednesday, June 19
      • Independence Day – Thursday, July 4
      • Labor Day – Monday, September 2
      • Veterans' Day – Monday, November 11
      • Thanksgiving – Thursday, November 28
      • Christmas Day – Wednesday, December 25