Finding Mental Health Care in Washington State: A Class on Where to Start
This class is for families who are seeking mental and behavioral health services for children or youth under 18 and who are not familiar with the mental health system in Washington state. Parents and caregivers consistently experience barriers in accessing mental and behavioral health care in Washington. We want to empower families to be able to take steps toward connecting to services on their own, knowing that many of the psychiatry services at Seattle Children’s have waitlists. For this reason, the class will focus on resources outside of Seattle Children’s, with the goal of helping families connect to care as quickly as possible. Due to capacity constraints, the psychiatry case managers leading this class will be unable to provide ongoing case management support outside of the class.
In this free, video-based class, participants will learn about:
- The various types of outpatient mental health treatment and providers
- Locating mental health resources based on insurance coverage — this class will cover resources covered by Medicaid and commercial or private insurance
- More intensive services and how to access them, as well as long-term care such as residential treatment
- Ways for caregivers to advocate for their child’s care
This class is offered live with the question and answer session (Q&A) on a secure Zoom virtual platform. Advance registration is required. Recordings of the class, without Q&A, will be available in English and Spanish. Live sessions are on the third Wednesday evening of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. Read how to use Zoom [Spanish].
Currently, live classes are only offered in English, although we will be offering live classes in Spanish soon. Information about recordings in other languages will be provided once available.
This class is free of charge.
- This class is held monthly on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 6-7pm.
- To register for upcoming dates, click "registration" below.
- Additional dates will be added throughout the year.
Materials to Complete Before and After the Class
Participation in the live class will include completion of a short pre- and post-survey. The survey will ask a few questions about your experience with and knowledge of Washington state mental health services for youth, what county you live in, race/ethnicity identification and your thoughts on the course. The leaders of this class will keep your information confidential, and it will only be used to improve the content and delivery of class material. We encourage you to complete all of the questions.
For a full list of resources and information, visit our Mental Health Resources Hub Page.
We will reference the following Seattle Children’s patient and family education materials during the class:
- Choosing a Mental Health Provider (Spanish) (PDF)
- Getting Help in a Crisis (PDF)
- Hotlines for Youth (Spanish) (Chinese) (PDF)
- Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization Mental Health Treatment Programs for Youth and Young Adults (PDF)
- Resources for Families (PDF)
- Teens and Privacy Rights (Spanish) (PDF)
- Washington’s Mental Health Referral Service (Spanish) (PDF
Frequently Asked Questions
No, this class will focus on resources in Washington state outside of Seattle Children’s. We will not review Seattle Children’s services or referral processes. Visit our Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine services page to learn about seeking services at Seattle Children’s.
The case managers will not be available for questions that aren’t related to this class.
Yes, there will be time for questions. The virtual Zoom platform will allow you to ask questions verbally or using the chat.
Yes, but only the live classes will include the questions and answers.
No, participants in the same household may complete one registration if joining on the same device. If members of the same household plan to use different devices, please complete one registration per device.
Yes. If the waitlist fills up, we try to open more live class times. If you are on the waitlist, you are welcome to view the recording of a previous class while you wait.
Yes, although each class will present the same material with only minor updates as policies or resources change in Washington state.