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Children’s Mental Health Awareness

Events across the country address the needs of children, youth, and young adults with mental health and substance use challenges and their families on this 10th Anniversary of the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

Project AWARE - OSPI

Here in Washington, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is one of 20 state-level grantees for the Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education (AWARE) grant. The five-year nearly $10 million grant, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), builds OSPI’s and local partners’ capacity to:

  • Increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth
  • Provide training for school personnel, families, and community members to detect and respond to mental health issues in children and young adults
  • Connect youth and families with services


The intent of Project AWARE is to develop a comprehensive, coordinated and integrated program to advance wellness and resilience in educational settings for school-aged youth.

Project goals:

  • Improve overall school climate
  • Promote positive mental health among youth and families
  • Increase mental health literacy of school personnel and other adults
  • Increase access to school and community-based mental health services
  • Build the capacity and leadership to sustain community-based mental health promotion, prevention, early identification, and treatment services

By building on the Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) model, Project AWARE increases access to school and community-based mental health supports. Collaboration between state, local, and building-level behavioral health promotion is a significant component of the project. A diverse State Management Team drives this effort.

Sign Up for a Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

Project AWARE offers no cost trainings that are in-person and open to parents, school staff, and other community members in Washington State. The all-day training teaches adults how to identify and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse among youth.

Learn more about this training and Project Aware.

Source: Office of the Superindent of Public Instruction

Autism Supports

Autism Awareness Month may be winding down, but the Autism Outreach Project (AOP) work continues to grow.

AOP is a State Needs Project through the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, in collaboration with the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program in the Department of Early Learning and NWESD.

Their mission is to provide information, training, and technical assistance to schools, families, and agencies with educational supports for individuals from birth to age 21 with autism spectrum disorder.

The AOP does not endorse any single method or intervention, but strives to provide information on a variety of evidence-based practices to meet the specific needs of individuals with autism.

Autism Outreach Project

AOP provides the following services to Washington State schools, families, and agencies:

Educational intervention, early intervention/screening, current research, school/home collaboration

Support groups, associations and agencies, autism consultants, diagnostic centers

Local, regional, and statewide workshops, Combined Summer Institute, video conference training

Special Events 
Information on autism conferences and special presentations statewide.

Lending Library
 Reference materials available for loan, including books, videos, and DVDs.

Brochure and resource guide available for download.

Technical Assistance
Individual consultation to schools and families, referral and coordination with autism specialists, and collaboration with agencies supporting children with autism spectrum disorder.

Autism Links
Comprehensive resource for information on autism.

To learn more, contact the Autism Outreach Project at toll-free at 1-888-704-9633 or email to

Source: Autism Outreach Project

Oral Health Impacts Learning

Oral health is important to student achievement. We know cavities can cause pain and pain can affect a child’s ability to eat, sleep, play and learn.

Lynette Ondeck, school nurse for Nooksack Valley School District, shares with KING5’s Northwest Families how she helped a student get his teeth problems taken care of and what the impact was on his educational experience. 

Source: KING5 Northwest Families