Award! From the Whatcom Community Foundation

Great news! Thank you to the Whatcom Community Foundation to their generous support to provide early assessment and mental health support for Transition Aged Youth (TAY).

Compass Health has a long history of partnering and co-locating clinicians at other non-profit organizations and public service agencies (Cocoon House and Dawson Palce) that serve individuals in our community who also have a high need for mental health services.

Our first initiative is to improve mental health access for the TAY population. The 2014 Whatcom Homeless Census identified 376 homeless households. Eleven percent (41 individuals) of those counted were Transition Aged Youth between the ages of 18-24. Northwest Youth Services is the sole provider of housing solutions for at-risk youth in Whatcom County. The NWYS Transitional Living Program (TLP) provides homeless youth with an apartment, case management, life skills classes, and supportive services. The Permanent Housing Program assists homeless youth (18-24) in finding a place to live while providing case management and supportive services. NWYS assisted 48 Transition Aged Youth in exiting homelessness last year. At any given point, approximately 70% of NWYS participants report mental health problems that require intervention.

Our second initiative is to establish baseline measurements of the prevalence of Early Psychosis in youth between the ages of 18-24 in Whatcom County. Without early identification young people with psychosis are at great risk of school drop-out, loss of social support and ability to function, long-term trauma, legal involvement, disability, suicide, poverty and homelessness. With early intervention, most of these consequences can be prevented. Baseline prevalence data will inform future efforts to fund comprehensive and targeted program interventions for this most vulnerable group.

We expect the following Outcomes from this partnership with Northwest Youth Services:

  • Assistance with enrollment in Medicaid (as appropriate);
  • A minimum of 40 Mental Health Assessments for Transition Aged Youth Served by NWYS;
  • The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Questionnaire* to assist with trauma-informed treatment planning (;
  • Outpatient Cognitive-Behavioral Counseling and Mental Health Case Management will be offered to all who meet medical necessity criteria;
  • Mental Health Case Consultation with NWYS Case Managers;
  • Referral to more intensive services as needed.

Locations for services may include the NWYS offices, youth housing, Compass Health, schools, or other settings serving TAY clients.

We look forward to a developing a strong partnership with Northwest Youth Services that will ultimately provide comprehensive services to the population that otherwise would not be accomplished holistically if both organizations were working independently.

Thank you Whatcom Community Foundation for making this connection!