We know that the well-being and mental health of our students are priorities for our staff, families, and students. We seek every opportunity to get students the services they need. As a result, we’re very pleased to share that after a year-end review of our participation in the King County-Funded Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment program, also known as SBIRT, our district was awarded a grant of $195,000 annually over the next three years, a total of $585,000. These funds provide invaluable services for our students through three middle school success coordinators, other staff, and training.
As part of the program, a free broad screener helps identify middle school students needing mental health intervention and has assisted our counseling team in connecting numerous students and families with mental health resources. The optional survey for students, called Check Yourself, is a secure web-based survey developed by Seattle Children’s Hospital. It asks about students’ strengths, substance use, social and emotional health, and safety. Our District is one of several districts across King County participating in the King County Best Start for Kids grant, which funds the SBIRT program. Recently, KING 5 did a story on SBIRT, and we encourage you to check it out: “King County schools face mental and behavioral health crisis.”
It’s important to know that this program supports our students and families while keeping information confidential. Middle school families are notified before their student takes the survey and informed how to opt-out. Each student that does participate is assigned a unique test number that doesn’t include student data, information, or identification. Only a school administrator or counselor can access the data and test number. The information King County can access is de-identified and is used to look at regional trends, not student-specific data. We take our students' data privacy extremely seriously and even secured an additional data-sharing agreement with King County to further restrict and protect the information.
We’re excited about what this continued grant funding means for the well-being and mental health of our students over the next three years. If you have any questions about this program or want more information please feel free to contact our Executive Director of Student Services, Nicole Fitch, or our Behavioral Health Program Specialist, Erica Healy.