Skip to Content

JOIN US at the 2024 Invest in Youth Breakfast | May 9, 2024


Blog, agency news and press

Responding to Alarming CDC Results

Lidia Harding
For parents For teens Youth and Family Counseliing
Girls support group

How YES is Responding to The Alarming CDC Survey Results

The recent release of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Youth Risk Behavior survey showed alarming results, particularly for teenage girls and LGBTQ+ teens. It found that nearly three in five teenage girls felt persistent sadness in 2021, double the rate of boys and that one in three girls seriously considered attempting suicide. The survey also showed high levels of assault, depression, and suicidal thoughts among LGBTQ+ youth. More than one in five of these students reported attempting suicide. These rates of attempted suicide are the highest reported in a decade, reflecting a long-brewing national tragedy.

“The sheer increase in the number of children and youth seeking behavioral health treatment at YES for anxiety and depression is a real concern. What is particularly worrisome is that the symptoms they exhibit are more critical,” said David Downing, CEO of YES.

But thanks to the support of the East King County Community, children, youth, and families are able to access mental health services when and where they need it.


When teens are in a crisis, they can’t wait for a counseling appointment that may take weeks. They need help immediately.

In response to the immediate needs and to decrease emergency room visits for mental health crises, YES also offers Open Access, which provides walk-in, same-day assessments on a first-come-first-served basis.

After their initial assessment, a Master’s-level clinician will work with the client to place them in services based on their goals. It could be brief or long-term, 1-to-1 counseling, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), YES’ LGBTQ+ support group BGLAD, psychiatric help, substance use services, recovery groups, and much more. High-risk clients are also contacted by a case manager who works with them to ensure they receive beneficial care and connect them to other community resources.


Youth can also access “drop-in” services at local community and teen centers and talk with licensed YES counselors who work with youth to address immediate needs and help connect them to community resources and longer-term care. Counselors also facilitate weekly support groups virtually, offering youth a safe space to connect with their peers and share their experiences.

When long wait times, transportation, or family support becomes a challenge, youth can still access services where they’re at, in schools. YES therapists staff over 40 elementary, middle, and high schools in the Lake Washington and Bellevue School Districts. Therapists offer 1-to-1 mental health counseling services, support groups, and educational programs within classrooms. While school is out for summer, YES continues to staff summer schools, offers a free summer camp for middle school students who have struggled with emotion regulation and socialization, and invites youth on weekly hikes led by two YES therapists.


Despite the mental health challenges reported by the CDC, children, youth, and their families in East King County have access to mental health services they desperately need, regardless of their ability to pay, thanks to the generosity of YES donors and the community. Through direct services at YES’ three office locations, licensed mental health counselors in Lake Washington and Bellevue schools, and community-wide education and prevention programs, youth have a better chance at recovery.

Giving children, youth and families access to mental health and substance use services is possible through the generosity of community members like you. Please consider making a gift today to provide children, youth, and families with programs that support their mental health and recovery.

Thanks to donations like yours, no family is turned away because they can’t afford to pay for services.

donate to youth mental health

Back to top