Children and Youth Behavioral Health Work Group (CYBHWG)

The Children and Youth Behavioral Health Work Group (CYBHWG) 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.

Prenatal-25 Behavioral Health Strategic Plan

Vision and mission

Vision

Each and every Washington child, youth and young adult, and their families are thriving.

Mission

  • Identify barriers and develop solutions and opportunities for equitable, high quality behavioral health services and strategies for children, youth and young adults (prenatal to age 25) and their families through seeking deep and significant engagement of those receiving, delivering and funding the services.
  • Work to ensure that all children, youth, and families have access to high-quality, equitable, well-resourced behavioral health education, care and supports when and where they need it.

The CYBHWG recommends legislation and other changes to ensure that behavioral health services for all of Washington’s children, youth and young adults, and their families, are:

  • Accessible, affordable, effective, timely, and engaging;
  • Culturally, linguistically, and developmentally relevant;
  • Supportive and affirming of gender orientation;
  • Supported by evidence;
  • Incorporate tailored innovations, as needed;
  • Coordinated across sectors, and tailored and aligned with communities’ strengths and needs;
  • Integrated whole-person care;
  • Normalized as part of everyone’s health care;
  • Sustainable, with robust capacity and funding;
  • Hold the promise of measurably improving health and outcomes; and
  • Amply resourced for all children, youth, and young adults.

Co-chairs

Subgroups

The Children and Youth Behavioral Health Work Group (CYBHWG) has five subgroups working in these areas.

Behavioral Health Integration

The Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) subgroup is currently focused on improving behavioral health integration in primary care. This subgroup is open to anyone that would like to join.

Prenatal to age five relational health

The Prenatal thorough Five Relational Health (P5RH) subgroup focuses on meeting the urgent needs of children ages 0-5 and their families. This group is open to all that would like to participate.

Strategic plan advisory group

The strategic plan advisory group provides oversight for the development of a statewide strategic plan to improve behavioral health services for children, youth, young adults, and their families from the prenatal stage through age 25.

School-based behavioral health and suicide prevention

The School-based Behavioral Health and Suicide Prevention (SBBHSP) subgroup targets its efforts on increasing access to behavioral health services and supports for students and their families. This subgroup has appointed members but is open to the public with a public comment period.

Leads:

Youth and young adult continuum of care

The Youth and Young Adult Continuum of Care (YYACC) subgroup looks at mental health and substance use treatment services across the continuum of care and explores the unique needs of youth and young adults. This subgroup is open to anyone that would like to participate.

Quad leads:

Workforce and rates

The Workforce & Rates (W&R) subgroup concentrates their efforts on identifying behavioral health workforce initiatives to improve access to services. This subgroup is open to anyone that wants to participate.

Leads:

Reports

Background

The Children's Behavioral Health Work Group was 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. In 2020, Second Substitute House Bill 2737 renamed the work group as the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Work Group, and extended its work through 2026.

The work ends on December 30, 2026.