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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. 

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How do I find services for my child or youth?

  • 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.

Important: Read the requirements and recommendations for safe visitation within the Children's Long Term Inpatient Treatment Program (CLIP).

How much do services cost?

There is no cost for services provided to Medicaid families. Reduced fees are available 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.

How do we access services?

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:

Are there resources to help us?

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).


Diana Cockrell