The legislature finds that student behavioral health issues have become a crisis in Washington state, necessitating the deployment of behavioral health resources in schools throughout the state. The legislature's concerns are based on the following facts:
According to the healthy youth survey conducted by the office of the superintendent of public instruction in 2018, one in five students in eighth, 10th, and 12th grades considered attempting suicide in the past year while just half of those surveyed had an adult to turn to when feeling sad or hopeless;
According to the national institute for mental health, more than one in 25 adolescents between 13 and 18 years of age are experiencing an eating disorder;
According to the national institute of drug abuse, nearly half of 12th grade students have used illicit drugs, six in 10 have drank alcohol, and four in 10 have used marijuana;
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the prevalence of and exacerbated existing behavioral health disorders for minors across the state; and
A major barrier to behavioral health support for minors is lack of awareness and access to information about existing services.
The legislature intends to require that contact information for a suicide prevention organization, depression or anxiety support organization, eating disorder support organization, and substance abuse support organizations be listed on the home page of each public school website for the following reasons:
Immediate access to behavioral health services often prevents suicide, attempted suicide, and other self-harm; and
Students in public schools often have access to and spend time on the website for their school.
Within existing resources, every public school that maintains a website must publish onto the home page of that website the following information:
The website address and phone number for one or more national suicide prevention organizations;
The website address and phone number for one or more local, state, or national organizations specializing in suicide prevention or crisis intervention;
The website address and phone number for one or more local, state, or national organizations specializing in depression, anxiety, or counseling;
The website address and phone number for one or more local, state, or national organizations specializing in eating disorders;
The website address and phone number for one or more local, state, or national organizations specializing in substance abuse.
Public schools, in complying with the requirements of this section, must post information on social media websites used by the school district for the purpose of notifying students, families, and the public of the behavioral health resources available on websites as required by this section. The postings required by this subsection (2) must occur multiple times each year and no less than quarterly.