Gov. Inslee touts state investments in school health center

Oct 24, 2022, 9:39 AM | Updated: 4:19 pm

Inslee school...

Gov. Jay Inslee meets with students at Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood. (Photo by Sam Campbell)

(Photo by Sam Campbell)

Gov. Jay Inslee said a school’s new health center in the Edmonds School District will be a “vital” resource for those students.

Speaking at Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood Monday, Inslee said the center is providing most services a primary care visit covers, including physical exams, mental and reproductive health tailored to students.

The state legislature recently voted to direct $2 million dollars to expand school health centers across Washington.

Mental health among teenagers is declining nationwide, according to the American Psychological Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators and parents across the country started seeing a change in students’ mental well-being. The struggles of the outbreak, amongst other factors like the public unrest from the George Floyd protests and the 2020 elections, also have played a role with youth mental health.

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Last year, 76% of U.S. public schools reported increased concern about students’ anxiety, depression, and trauma.

The governor touted state investments in the expansion of school-based health centers across Washington. There are currently more than 50 in the state. Inslee’s office said MHS’ health center, which opened in September, will cater to students without a primary care provider.

Washington state has awarded 17 grants for a total of over $2 million to create school-based mental health centers in order to provide integrated mental health care for historically underserved communities in public K-12 schools throughout the state.

The Edmonds School District said the MHS center offers mental and physical health services, including:

  • Annual and sports physical exams
  • Same-day exams for illnesses and injuries
  • Preventive care
  • Age-appropriate reproductive healthcare
  • Referrals to other providers and specialists

According to the district, services are currently only available for students at MHS, but they are expected to expand to include families and community members by the spring.

You can read more about youth mental health with statistics from the Center for Disease Control.

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Gov. Inslee touts state investments in school health center