Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home page

Outpatient Services for Children

How do I find mental health and counseling for my child or adolescent?

Counseling and related mental health services for youth are available through community mental health agencies and licensed therapists.  Counseling is a health care service that is covered by most health insurance plans.

Washington public system resources and plans can be seen at the Washington State Health Plans website:  Washington Health Care Authority  For children with Medicaid benefits, see the link to: Find a Provider.

• All children and youth with Medicaid can receive a mental health assessment through one of our community mental health agencies, and if they need more intensive counseling can be served through these Regional Support Network funded programs.

To find one of these centers, call the Regional Support Network - RSN that serves the county you reside in and request the name and phone number of the mental health agency that serves your area.

• Call the mental health agency for an appointment. They may do a screening over the phone and schedule an intake appointment.

• Outpatient mental health services are provided at the mental health agency, in your home, or elsewhere in the community.

Private health insurance company plans usually have lists of their counseling providers available by phone or through their internet site, which can be sorted by location.  On line and printed telephone directories and yellow pages have lists of counselors and mental health agencies in the counseling section or community services pages.

Counseling costs vary. There is no cost for Medicaid families, and small fees for low income families on Washington State Health Plans.  Other health plans offer different arrangements for premiums and out of pocket fees for counseling. Some counseling at community agencies is provided on sliding fee scales or may offer reduced costs thanks to private support or help from organizations like United Way.