Crossposted from the Best Starts for Kids Blog
Three new school-based health centers (SBHCs) in King County will open in the 2017-18 schoolyear with funds from the Best Starts for Kids Initiative. Each SBHC will feature a health clinic, counseling space, a pharmacy, and space for a mobile dental unit. On-site behavioral health providers will provide mental-health support, counseling, and referrals to other services. Three health care providers will partner with schools to deliver services: HealthPoint in Renton, International Community Health Services in Bellevue, and NeighborCare Health on Vashon Island. Best Starts for Kids will provide a total of $6.7 million for the initial construction and ongoing operation of the centers through 2021.
According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, young people who have access to mental-health care at their school are 21 times more likely to meet with a provider than adolescents whose only access is outside of school.
“These new centers will be a wonderful resource to reach young people where they spend so much time – at school!” said Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health – Seattle & King County. “The centers deliver critical health services that they need and are a proven strategy to improve student health as well as academic achievement. Linking health and school achievement is key to our efforts to close the opportunity gap for our youth.”
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