CMH Priorities

Back in late 2008, possibly early 2009, DBHR of Washington State created this list of priorities regarding children’s mental health, with input from families, communities, and a variety of agencies from across the state. Then came the economic downturn, budget cuts, the restructuring of child serving systems, and needless to say, a reduction of staff responsible for serving our families.

As a result, some work was begun on some of these children’s mental health priorities. But, many have been placed on hold, until the state has the necessary funding to complete these priorities. DadsMOVE feels these priorities are still crucial, and vital, to our families, and the families that we serve and assist.

To help insure that these children’s mental health priorities stay on the “to do” list, we have published them on this page. Please feel free to discuss them with your elected state representatives. You can find your state representatives by clicking on the link.

So, here are the CMH priorities:

Parent Support and Assistance

Parents who receive support and assistance from parents with more experience increase the likelihood of successful outcomes for their family and children/youth. Therefore, parent partners, peer counselors, and parent-led organizations should be considered as a vital part of the system of care to achieve these minimum objectives.

  • Decrease isolation, shame, and stigma
  • Reduce system dependency
  • Adequate self-efficacy and natural supports
  • Opportunity to improve parenting skill
  • Adequate ability to work with professionals
  • Adequate school attendance
  • Healthy families


We support a proactive and comprehensive mental healthcare service system that recognizes and responds to children/youth/families that are experiencing early warning signs of behavioral and mental health needs at home, school or in the community.

  • Revision of access to care standards to reflect a focus on prevention
  • Age of consent law/rules and policy that respect the rights of youth and parents to access services.
  • Infant mental health services with focus on the family
  • Equitable services for children & youth
  • Adequate outpatient short term triage and day treatment services
  • Adequate school-based mental health services

Children and Youth Out-Patient Care

We recognize the need for out-patient care as part of a comprehensive mental health system of care.

  • Acceptable outcomes for families/youths through strength-based support teams
  • Utilization of Evidence Based and Promising Best Practices
  • Adequate linkages among law enforcement, hospitals, schools and community teams
  • Adequate recognition of the need for professionals to respect and work with parents/caregivers to increase positive outcomes

Children and Youth In-Patient Care

We recognize the need for in-patient care as part of a comprehensive mental health system of care.

  • Include family and youth on local CLIP review teams
  • Adequate transition and transfer of skills learned in CLIP to home, school, community, formal and informal supports
  • Adequate bed capacity to reduce delays in treatment
  • Recognition that working with parents and caregivers in healthy and respectful partnerships increases positive outcomes


We support education about mental health as the pathway for embracing children, youth and families that face challenges related to social, emotional and mental health needs.

  • Develop mental health education campaign collaborative between DBHR and DOH as part of healthcare to be used statewide.
  • Provide pre-service training for educators
  • Provide statewide training for educators (general ed & special ed) currently serving in K-12 public schools
  • Provide training for state licensed childcare providers
  • Develop and adopt mental health curriculum for K-12 public schools