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?

If you receive health insurance through Medicaid, you have two types of benefits for behavioral health services:

  • Through Apple Health: This benefit is for lower intensity outpatient mental health treatment only.
  • Through behavioral health organizations (BHOs): This benefit is for higher intensity mental health services not covered by the Apple Health plan, and for substance use treatment.

Read the two-page Medicaid-funded behavioral health treatment guide for individuals and families to learn more about Medicaid-funded versus non-Medicaid-funded behavioral health services and find a provider.

How much do services cost?

There is no cost for services provided to Medicaid families, and reduced fees 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