Children & Youth Mental Health

*If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911*

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Washington teens 15-19 years old. Per 2021 Healthy Youth Survey data, 37% of Cowlitz County 8th graders felt so sad or hopeless for two weeks or more that they stopped doing their usual activities and 14% reported making a suicide plan in the past year.

The good news is that teens are resilient and feeling connected to school and family helps support their mental health. Building strong bonds and relationships with adults and friends at school, at home, and in the community provides youth with a sense of connectedness. This feeling of connectedness is important and can protect adolescents from poor mental health, and other risks like drug use and violence.

Positive Experiences + Positive Relationships + Positive Environments = Positive Youth Development (PYD)

PYD is an intentional, prosocial approach that engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in a manner that is productive and constructive; recognizes, utilizes, and enhances young people’s strengths; and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and furnishing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths.

Cowlitz County has many opportunities for youth that can help foster PYD. Many local school districts, extracurricular programs, community agencies, and churches host programs for youth that can help youth identify their strengths, make meaningful connections, and help foster healthy development.

Ascent Youth Center
Ascent Youth Activity Center provides a safe atmosphere for teens to explore new interests and engage in the community. Provides an access point for pro-social activities in addition to providing emotional and behavioral health services.
Columbia Wellness
Adult, child, and family services available.
Community Integrated Health Services
CIHS' mission is to assist individuals with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders to obtain necessary, skills, counseling, medication management, and support services to improve their quality of life and level of functioning.
Cowlitz Indian Tribal Mental Health
Cowlitz Tribal Mental Health seeks to help individuals discover their personal strengths and the community support systems that will guide their journey to emotional stability.
Hello Life
The mission of Hello Life Eating Disorder Recovery Services is to provide an equitable, free, accessible and dignified pathway to eating disorder recovery and positive body image to all individuals in Southwest Washington.
For additional information on local behavioral health agencies, visit the Washington State Directory here.