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Children's Mental Health Work Group (CMHWG)

The Children’s Mental Health Work Group provides recommendations to the Legislature to improve behavioral health services and strategies for children, youth, young adults, and their families. The group includes representatives from the Legislature, state agencies, health care providers, tribal governments, community health services, and other organizations, as well as parents of children and youth who have received services.


The CMHWG’s work is focused on:

  • Identifying barriers to and opportunities for behavioral health services and strategies for children, youth and young adults (prenatal to age 25 years old) and their families that are:
    • Accessible.
    • Effective.
    • Timely.
    • Culturally and linguistically relevant.
    • Supported by evidence.
  • Advising the Legislature on statewide behavioral health services and recommended improvements.
  • Monitoring enacted legislation, programs, and policies.

Advisory groups

During the 2019 interim, the Children’s Mental Health Work Group (CMHWG) has five advisory groups working in these areas:

Partnership Access Line (PAL)

Prenatal to age five relational health

Family-Initiated Treatment (FIT)

Follow-up/E2SHB 1874 (2019).


Specific to the prenatal to 25 age group.

Student well-being and school-based supports

Including connections to behavioral health and intellectual developmental disabilities [IDD] services and supports.

The advisory group agreed on recommendations for the 2020 legislative session on December 5, 2019.

The advisory group on the Partnership Access Line (PAL) delivered a report on the funding model for PAL and associated recommendations to the work group on December 17, 2019.

The work group will submit final recommendations to the Legislature on December 1, 2020.


First created by the Legislature by Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2439 (2016), the workgroup released recommendations before disbanding July 1, 2017. The workgroup reformed in 2018 through Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2779 (2018) to continue the work they started.

The CMHWG’s work ends on December 30, 2020.