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Child and youth behavioral health services
Mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) services — also referred to as behavioral health (BH) — are available for children and youth through community mental health agencies and licensed therapists.
Does your child need immediate help?
On this page
Washington's Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens is available to all Washington families with children age 17 and younger, whether they are enrolled in Apple Health or not. This free, telephone-based referral service connects children and teens with evidence-supported outpatient mental health services in their community.
Families can call 1-833-303-5437, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time, to connect with a referral specialist.
If you are enrolled in Washington Apple Health (Medicaid), you qualify for both outpatient, high intensity, and substance use treatment.
There is no cost for services provided to Medicaid families, and reduced fees for low income families enrolled in a Washington health plan.
Other health plans offer different premiums and fees for services. Some services at community agencies are provided on sliding-fee scales, or may offer reduced costs with private support or help from organizations like United Way.
Private health insurance plans usually have lists of their counseling providers available by phone or on their website. Online and printed telephone directories have lists of counselors and mental health agencies in the counseling section or community services pages.
All children and youth with Medicaid can receive a mental health assessment through a community mental health agency, and can receive other needed services. Services are generally provided at the mental health agency, in your home, or at other locations in your community.
To find a service location:
Yes. In addition to the following resources, you can find more information on our mental health services page and substance use treatment page (including alcohol use treatment, opioid use treatment, and tobacco use treatment).
- Children's Long-term Mental Health Inpatient Program
- First Episode Psychosis Program and Early Psychosis Initiative
- Improving children's mental health with a system of care (SOC)
- Family initiated treatment (FIT)
- Wraparound with Intensive Services (WISe)
- Youth substance use involuntary treatment, recovery services, and treatment services
- Health transitions project
- Family Youth System partner round tables
- WA State Children's Behavioral Health Statewide family network
- Statewide youth leadership network
Collaborations, round tables, and work groups provide guidance, direction, and oversight.