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Behavioral Health Navigator

Behavioral Health Rounds out the ESD’s Regional Safety Center
Posted on 08/24/2020
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The Behavioral Health Navigator position at ESD 123 will lead the newest area of the ESD’s Regional Safety Center.  A three-pronged approach to student and school safety, the Regional Center encompasses the areas of Threat Assessment, School Safety, and now Behavioral Health. As interviews for this new position wrap up, ESD 123 Director of Student Support, Dana Camarena, says she is looking forward to welcoming the successful candidate into the Behavioral Health position at the beginning of September.

“The reality that many districts are beginning the school year 100 percent virtually doesn’t lessen the barriers that students will continue to face in accessing behavioral health services,” Camarena states. The need to provide a network of support for schools and increase access to care for students may in fact be even greater in a virtual environment.

According to the Children’s Regional Behavioral Health Pilot Program Report to the Legislature, one in five children (ages 13–16) are diagnosed with a significant behavioral health problem such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD; and the majority of students who receive mental health services receive the referrals through their school system.

The Behavioral Health Navigator position is not a direct service provider; rather, their role is to engage in regional K–12 and healthcare partnerships through relationships and collaboration activities that will ultimately increase access to care.  ESD 123 is grateful for the legislative support that has provided this much-needed component to the Student Support division.  Through dedicated Behavioral Health services, Washington’s ESDs can play a critical role in navigating complex systems and access to care for youth.

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