Best Starts for Kids will be supporting three new school-based health centers (SBHCs) in King County. The Request for Proposals can be found here. The new SBHCs will support students across our geographically diverse region to address health disparities among youth. These new centers will focus on:
- Schools with few or no SBHCs in their districs
- Areas with a clear demonstration of need
- Partners that demonstrate an advanced level of community readiness
Check out one local school-based health center in action
Addressing inequities through School-based health
School-based health centers are a proven strategy that offer comprehensive health services including immunizations, family planning, and mental health counseling within a school setting. Public Health has successfully supported SBHCs for over 25 years in King County. SBHCs have shown to decrease health inequities, increase access to critical mental health services and improve academic achievement.
Studies have shown that SBHCs have helped to decrease absences by 50 percent among students who had three or more absences in a three-week period; youth are 21 times more likely to make a mental health visit to a school-based provider than to a community site.
Services and partnerships
SBHCs are typically operated by healthcare organizations and are staffed with coordinators, medical providers and mental health counselors that strive to reflect the diverse ethnic, language and cultural backgrounds of the students and families. Typical services include preventive health care, immunizations, chronic disease management and counseling for depression, trauma and stress.
The new SBHCs will be looking to coordinate services with the community organizations that serve their schools as well as future Best Starts for Kids investments. We’ll keep you up to date with opportunities for collaboration coming soon.
We expect for these SBHCs to be ready to launch in fall of 2017.