Providence teams up with Renton public schools to strengthen student access to mental health services

October 19, 2023 Swedish Communications

Funding from our Well Being Trust supports the Renton School District's ability to make virtual therapy services available to all grade levels, from pre-K through 12th-grade.

As part of its ongoing commitment to improve Washington youth's mental health and well-being, Providence announced plans to fund the Renton School District's student mental health services over the next three years. 

Funding comes from Providence’s Well Being Trust and it will enable the district to strengthen its mental health support efforts by offering every child in all 27 Renton public schools access to virtual therapy through a national school-based telehealth provider. 

"We are incredibly proud of this partnership initiative," said Arpan Waghray, M.D., CEO, Providence’s Well Being Trust. Our youth's future success is partly driven by the quality of their health and wellness today. Providence and the district are focused on establishing short-and long-term mental wellness practices by creating an academic environment where students can prioritize their health and develop lifelong coping and well-being practices to support them for years to come." 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 22% of the nation's high school students seriously considered suicide. And locally, King County students face a variety of mental health issues. According to Washington State's Healthy Youth Survey, more than a third of the county's eighth, 10th and 12th graders demonstrated symptoms of depression in 2021. 

Watch video: Partnership with Providence makes new virtual therapy services available to all Renton School District students.

Victoria Blakeney, director of student support for the Renton School District, said "As a community, we are working to address the social, emotional and mental health needs of our students, and this partnership along with the new virtual therapy service expands access for all of them, filling a key gap in a comprehensive mental health support system." 

The funding gives the Renton School District's Department of Learning and Teaching, which administers the school system's mental health services, the ability to make virtual therapy services available to all grade levels, from pre-K through 12th-grade. Parents and educators may refer students for sessions at home or on campus during school hours as needed.  

Given the diversity of students in Renton Public Schools, the district is committed to ensuring that students are paired with diverse, bilingual mental health professionals who can provide high-quality care that meets each child's specific needs. Virtual therapy also includes: 

  • Scheduled therapy appointments to help students cope with their feelings and manage various behavioral health challenges. 
  • Licensed therapists who specialize in care for young children and adolescents of all backgrounds.  
  • Care coordination that connects students and families to local resources. 
  • Convenient support at home or on campus, using a mobile device over live video in a private room.  

In January, Providence and Seattle Sounders FC unveiled their unprecedented community partnership to address the mental health crisis plaguing Washington youth. The organizations pledged to identify ways to eliminate barriers that prevent youngsters from living their healthiest lives. Since that time, both organizations have hosted several youth programs with the Renton School District, including a Sounders opening day celebration at Benson Hill Elementary School and a clinic at Renton High School staffed by Providence Swedish caregivers who provided free physicals to students from across the district. 

To learn more about student virtual therapy at Renton Public Schools visit You can also learn more about our partnership with Sounders FC and take our pledge to prioritize mental health and wellness here.  

About Providence

Providence is a nonprofit provider of healthcare services in the Western United States, and is headquartered in Renton, Washington. Providence’s Well Being Trust is a national foundation dedicated to advancing mental, social and spiritual well-being.

About Providence Swedish

Providence Swedish has served the Puget Sound region since the first Providence hospital opened in Seattle in 1877 and the first Swedish hospital opened in 1910. The two organizations affiliated in 2012 and today comprise the largest health care delivery system in Western Washington, with 22,000 caregivers, eight hospitals and 244 clinics. A not-for-profit family of organizations, Providence Swedish provides more than $406 million in community benefit in the Puget Sound Region each year. The health system offers a comprehensive range of services and specialty and subspecialty care in a number of clinical areas, including cancer care, cardiovascular health, neurosciences, orthopedics, digestive health and women’s and children’s care. 

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