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23 June 2016

Driving Innovation in School-Based Mental Health

Cambia Health Foundation supports on-site mental health services at Clark County, Wash. schools

Media Contacts:     Matthew Butte                                                   Lisa Honebrink
                             360-699-2244                                                 503-721-4094

PORTLAND, Ore. and VANCOUVER, Wash.–  More than 14 million children and adolescents in the United States – 1 in 5 – have a diagnosable mental health disorder that requires intervention or monitoring and interferes with daily functioning. Primary care clinicians are identifying children with emotional and behavioral disorders at an increasing rate, and minority children are disproportionately represented, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Cambia Health Foundation is addressing this need, investing $194,000 to support on-site mental health programs in three schools in Clark County, Washington over three years. 
The grant will integrate Children’s Center mental health services at Crestline Elementary School, Wy-east Middle School and Mountain View High School in Evergreen School District.  As the three schools serve youth from grades K-12, embedding these services in these schools strategically provides a continuum of care for children as they advance to higher grades, which is vital to their treatment. Each program is comprised of integrated case management (including home visitations with parents) and referrals to wrap-around services such as housing, substance abuse treatment and primary care health services. 
According to Evergreen School District Superintendent’s Office, each school is an underserved population and has a high need for these services:
  • Crestline Elementary School - of 487 students, 72 percent qualify for free or reduced price meals and 21 are homeless.
  • Wy-east Middle School - of 859 students, 54 percent qualify for free and reduced price meals and 21 are homeless
  • Mountain View High School - of 1,875 students, 34.87 percent qualify for free and reduced price meals and 41 are homeless.

“The need is real and clear: superintendents and principals have repeatedly reached out to Children’s Center asking for services to these at-risk children/youth and their families with no exclusionary criteria,” said Matthew Butte, Children’s Center development director.  “This program will allow mental health therapists or case managers to respond to the mental health needs of students in the moment, and connect families to other needed resources such as housing, drug and alcohol services, employment services, mental health services and primary care. Another program goal is to identify a success plan for each child and engage parents in their child’s academic life.”
“This investment aligns with Cambia Health Foundation’s priority of reducing barriers to mental health care for vulnerable populations,” said Angela Hult, executive director, Cambia Health Foundation. “The Children’s Center is on the leading edge in the U.S. for delivering impactful mental health programs that change the odds for some of our most vulnerable children, and we could not be more proud to support this important work.”
Cambia Health Foundation supports in-school mental health services at public schools as a path to better care and more convenient delivery of care, which also is a critical step to these students staying in school, learning and graduating.  “That’s why we see this as a vital investment that meets an immediate need while providing long-term benefits for these children, their families and communities,” said Hult.
About Children’s Center
Founded in 1989, Children’s Center, based in Vancouver, Washington, serves children, youth and families through comprehensive, quality community-based mental health services. Children’s Center is the only area mental health provider with a specific program for uninsured or underinsured children and youth, and 95 percent of those it serves are low-income families.  The Center has a team of 30 Master-level therapists specializing in children/adolescent mental health, three prescribers (two board certified child psychiatrists and an advanced registered nurse practitioner), and three home support specialists who help implement treatment goals in the home setting. After successful completion of a $6.2 million capital campaign, in May 2015 the Center moved from a 5,000 sq.-foot building in downtown Vancouver, to a 15,000 sq.-foot building in Eastern Vancouver specifically designed to meet the needs of their clientele. In addition, the Center opened a satellite office in Battle Ground, Washington, to ensure easier access to services for residents of Northern Clark County. Learn more at
About Cambia Health Foundation
Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to transforming the way people experience health care. A 501(c)(3) grant-making organization, the Foundation strategically invests and partners with organizations to advance palliative care quality, access and understanding; improve the mental and behavioral health of underserved children; and transform health care to a more person-focused, equitable and economically sustainable system. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter.