Fostering Strong Partnerships: Schools

An increasing number of students everywhere are experiencing depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, not showing up for school, or are suicidal. If this sounds like a young person you know, Comprehensive Healthcare is working to help. Through partnerships with schools from Kittitas to Benton-Franklin Counties, we embed therapists on-site so that they can work directly with students, families and educators to better address behavioral health challenges as they arise. These services are open to K-12 students who qualify for Medicaid, and in some cases, free to students and their families, teachers and staff regardless of insurance or their ability to pay.

Treatment usually starts with a referral from a school counselor or social worker. Then, we work closely with students and family members, if appropriate, to help. This may involve improving their communication skills with their parents, helping them to better understand their own feelings, teaching positive parenting skills, and learning radical acceptance.

By offering services within the schools, we reduce barriers to care such as transportation, stigma and cultural norms that make it hard for people to seek care. Our therapists check in with students during their school day so that working parents don’t have to take students to after-school appointments.

“If we weren’t in the schools, we would have more problems that weren’t being addressed, such as teen suicides,” said Leticia Chavez, a supervisor at our Sunnyside office and a 21-year veteran of Comprehensive Healthcare. “When a child needs help because they’re struggling with stressors at school or home, they may think that suicide is their only way out. When we can intervene at school and show them that there are other ways to solve their problems, then they can change their outlook and feel better about life.

School partnerships available at:

•Ellensburg School District
•Kittitas School District
•Dammon School District
•Thorp School District
•Cle Elum/Roslyn School District
•Easton School District
•Sunnyside High School#201
•Walla Walla School District
•College Place School District
•Touchet School District
•Dixie School District
•Prescott School District

Read the full Spring 2024 Vibrant Communities here