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Supporting Students through Virtual School-Based Services

Lidia Harding
Blog For parents For teens Programs School-based
virtual school-based services

The need for school-based services

The needs of youth for mental health and substance use services have significantly increased over the last two decades.  Yet, only about 20% of these young people receive the mental health or substance services they need.

Barriers to accessing mental health services include:

  • Lack of transportation
  • Cost
  • Mental health professional shortages
  • Knowledge of available services
  • Misguided stigma

“Stigma is reduced as we all learn together that social-emotional wellness is similar to and as important as physical health to our ability to learn and develop into our full selves. Working together as a community is essential to our wellbeing, particularly now in the midst of the recent pandemic and the long-term struggle for racial justice and equity,” said Director of School-Based Behavioral Health Kristie Neklason.

Available school-based services

Youth Eastside Services (YES) partners with local Lake Washington and Bellevue School Districts and works with parents and students in order to remove those barriers and provide, no-cost services to students, where they’re at.

YES Behavioral Health Support Specialists (BHSS) dually-licensed in both mental health and substance use counseling, work together with school teams to provide assessments, intervention, educational preventative programs, universal mental health screenings, one-to-one, and group on-site counseling, and referrals to support services for both students and their families.

Luckily, for students like Jesse, these services meant the difference between becoming a criminal or a responsible adult.

Services during COVID-19

With both Bellevue and Lake Washington School Districts beginning the year with remote learning, YES’ school-based BHSS are ready to provide services by phone, confidential ZOOM one-to-one and group sessions, and joining staff and students in classrooms through virtual platforms.

Consultation for parents concerned about their student’s social-emotional wellbeing and assistance connecting to services will also be available virtually.

For more information

For a complete list of services and a list of YES school counselors and their office hours please visit our webpage:

Additional YES services in schools


We are able to provide these services through a partnership with the Lake Washington and Bellevue School Districts, King County, and the support of our donors and funders. Join them in their support by donating today and provide our young people with better access to mental health and substance use services.

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