April 2024 Department Newsletter

April 2024 Department Newsletter
Posted on 03/19/2024
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2023 Healthy Youth Survey Results:

The statewide 2023 Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) results are now available, representing the voices of over 217,000 Washington students in grades 6-12. The survey focuses on the health and well-being of young people.  In 2023, students reported improved health behaviors and mental health along with increased social support.  
Read more at this link

ESD 123 Student Health Professional in action!

Thank you, Paulina Valdez, Student Assistance Professional, for your outreach at McLoughlin Middle School.
Thank you, Paulina Valdez, Student Assistance Professional, for your outreach at McLoughlin Middle School.

 Available to pick up or download:  

  • No vaping/no smoking printed signage and window clings available for FREE for any business or organization. See samples below:

Window cling availableOther window cling samples

  • Youth Prevention “YOUR HEALTH MATTERS”  wallet cards available in English and Spanish.  Each card is tailored with local crisis lines and resources for youth in each of the following 10 regions: Adams County, Greater Wenatchee, Lower Yakima, Mattawa/Royal City, Moses Lake, SW Washington, Yakima, Walla Walla, Spokane, & Benton-Franklin. See sample below:

Youth Prevention “YOUR HEALTH MATTERS”  wallet cards available in English and Spanish.
Pick up your wall clings and wallet cards from Monica Garcia, Marijuana & Tobacco Prevention Professional.  Phone: 509.544.5743, [email protected].

  • Menthol & Nicotine Fact Sheet.   The Improving Cessation Treatment Workgroup with Washington Breathes developed a new fact sheet that can help educate about the harms of menthol by focusing on:
  1. How menthol in tobacco products makes it easier to start and harder to quit.
  2. How the tobacco industry targets specific communities and manipulates them by using menthol in tobacco products.
  3. The need to prohibit menthol and all flavored commercial tobacco products to save lives.

Many people and organizations support a ban on menthol and all other flavored commercial tobacco products.  More information about the impacts of flavors and policy solutions are available on the Washington Breathes Eliminate Flavors page.  Learn more about Washington Breathes and how to get involved at washingtonbreathes.org.


Interested in mentoring novice Educational Staff Associate colleagues from around the region? 
Mentors can recieve free training opportunities through OSPI and a small stipend. 
We are compiling a list of interested potential mentors for mentees in the following roles: Counselor, Social Worker, School Nurse, School Psychologist, School Occupational or Physical Therapist, School Behavioral Analyst, & School Speech Language Pathologist. 

  • Make a positive difference in someone's life
  • Build your leadership skills
  • Share knowledge, experiences, and resources
  • Help reduce feelings of isolation
  • Discuss goals and aspirations
  • Support the mentee's journey towards progress
  • Learn from your mentee

Fill out the Mentor Interest Form here

FREE Training:

 Upcoming trainings over Zoom: 

Quit Coach Training
April 22 | 2:30 - 3:30 PM
Offered through Washington Breathes in partnership with Spokane Regional Health District.  Completing the quit coach training qualifies for one (1) hour of PSCBW Drug Education. Questions? Contact Amanda Dugger, Spokane Regional Health District Health Prevention Specialist
Register for Quit Coach Training here

Issues of Abuse
May 1 | 4:00 - 7:00 PM
3 Clock Hours 
Find more information and register here for Issues of Abuse

 In-person upcoming trainings:  

Spanish Youth Mental Health First Aid
May 11 | 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM | at Housel Middle School, Prosser, 2001 Highland Drive
7 Clock Hours (Social Emotional Learning)
If childcare is needed, contact Monica Garcia, (509) 405-0132.
Find more information and register here for Spanish YMHFA.

CARE: Compassionate Assessment and Response in Education training
May 22 | 9 AM - 1 PM | at ESD 123
3 Clock Hours (Suicide Prevention)
Find more information and register here for CARE. 

Youth Mental Health First Aid
May 30 | 8 AM - 3:30 PM | at ESD 123
6 Clock Hours
In collaboration with Kadlec Community Health. 
Find more information and register here for YMHFA.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

May is Mental Health Month

Caring for Your Mental Health

  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated
  • Make sleep a priority
  • Try a relaxing activity
  • Set goals and priorities
  • Practice gratitude
  • Focus on positivity
  • Stay connected

Self-care looks different for everyone. It is important to find what you need and enjoy. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. Learn more about healthy practices for your mind and body, and read in more detail about the strategies listed above on our website here. 

National Mental Health Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is a mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental Health America (MHA) 
Mental Health America (MHA) addresses the needs of those living with mental illness and promotes the overall mental health of all Americans.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) 
The lead federal agency for research on mental disorders.  The site offers basic information on mental disorders, a range of related topics, and the latest mental health research.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

Find A Local Mental Health Professional

A mental health professional can help people find relief from mental health conditions and find ways to improve mental wellness and resiliency.  Use the links below to find a local mental health professional.

Benton & Franklin County
Walla Walla & Columbia County 

Mental Health Resource Library

Visit the mental health resource library to find resources on mental health, stress, anxiety, coping skills, and more.

Your Mental Health Matters

Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action was on April 1st

Take Down Tobacco empowers youth to fight Big Tobacco. Youth work alongside elected leaders, parents, teachers, healthcare providers, and advocates toward a tobacco-free generation. Whether hanging posters around school or holding a rally at the Capitol, youth unite on April 1st each year to expose Big Tobacco.

The campaign promotes three primary ways to get involved:

  • Host an event to educate and raise awareness in your school or community.
  • Share facts with paper-based media, social media, or other digital platforms.
  • Contact elected representatives and advocate for commercial tobacco prevention.

Learn more about the campaign and find resources to assist with participation on the Take down Tobacco Website.

The ESD 123 Student Support Department is here to provide you with assistance and additional resources as needed.  Please feel free to reach out with any questions or needs. 

Dana Camarena, Student Support Director
PH: 509.544.5762 | [email protected]
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