Behavioral Health FAQs - Washington State Local Health Insurance - CHPW
Community Health Plan of Washington Apple Health Medicaid Plan Community Health Plan of Washington Apple Health Medicaid Plan

Behavioral Health FAQs

Learn about Community Health Plan of Washington’s (CHPW) coverage for mental, emotional, and behavioral health, as well as your options for treatment.

Common questions about behavioral health

Should I call a crisis line?

Your problem is valid. If you’re in crisis, having mental health issues, or contemplating suicide, crisis lines are here to help you. Here’s what you need to know:

  • There’s no hard and fast rule for when to call an emergency help line. That means you don’t need to worry that your problem isn’t “bad enough” to call about. No one will be upset that you called.
  • It’s confidential. Crisis line operators will not share what you tell them with anyone.
  • You can call about a loved one. Even if you’re not the person in crisis, you can call a crisis line to get help and advice.

Here are some lines you can call:

How do I get a mental health care provider?

1. Go to the online Provider Directory.

2. Enter your zip code.

3. Under the dropdown “Provider Type” menu, select “Behavioral Health.”

4. Enter the search term that best describes what you think you need into the field that says “Specialty”:

  • Counselor. Counselors talk to you and help you create strategies to address your problems. (A genetic counselor is a little different: They help families who are at risk for genetic diseases.)
  • Chemical Dependency. Chemical dependency professionals are trained to address substance use conditions and addiction.
  • Mental Health. This usually describes a provider’s area of focus.  A counselor or a nurse practitioner may specialize in mental health.
  • Nurse practitioner. A nurse practitioner can prescribe medication, diagnose illnesses, and examine and treat patients. They usually do not provide counseling.
  • Psychiatrist. A psychiatrist provides therapy and can prescribe medication.
  • Social Worker. A social worker can help you address the social issues contributing to your mental health. Those include (but are not limited to) food security, job training, and access to housing.

You can also search by the areas in which a behavioral health provider has extensive training and experience in using the Areas of Expertise search field under the Advanced Filter Options section.

5. Under “Advanced Filter Options,” use the “Search Within” dropdown menu to filter out providers that are too far away from you.

To find a Behavioral Health provider for children in the Provider Directory, the Limitations results field will indicate “Children’s Behavioral Health Services” as well as age restrictions. You can also search the word “Children” in the Areas of Expertise field under the Behavioral Health provider type or you can find a list of behavioral health facilities that work with youth HERE.

You can see any in-network mental health provider for your initial assessment. After that, you can continue seeing that person, or they may refer you to another provider.

What is a case manager? How do I get one?

Most of what helps you get better happens outside the doctor’s office. Organizing care and finding support in your daily life can be stressful or difficult. That’s why we have Case Managers to help you. Many of our Case Managers are licensed social workers, nurses, or specialists.

Case Managers can:

  • Find a provider for you
  • Make sure you get in to see a doctor
  • Connect you with local help for housing, food, paying bills, etc.
  • Organize transportation to appointments
  • Keep track of your medicine
  • Help you set and meet health goals

Case Management is covered for every CHPW member. Call Customer Service at 1-800-440-1561 (TTY Relay: Dial 711) to get started.

Can CHPW help me find support in my community?

If you already know that you need help with housing, food, job training, or other community support, the Community Programs team is a good first stop. Community Programs connect CHPW members with community-based services. The community health workers on the Community Programs team specialize in the resources that are available where you live. A CHPW case manager may refer you to a community health worker if you both decide you need it.

I’ve never gone to counseling before. What should I expect?

Meeting your therapist. Every therapist is different. Some therapists prefer to learn about your background, history, and medical issues. Others are solution-focused. Some mostly listen, while others prefer to interact.

We recommend going into your first counseling session with a clear idea of your own goals for therapy. Ask yourself:

  • Why am I going to therapy? Is it to solve a specific problem, or to deal with an ongoing issue?
  • How long do I expect to be in therapy?
  • What matters to me the most?

When you arrive. Counselors and therapists might have their own office space or a shared office with other providers. You may or may not need to sign in. There will usually be a waiting room where you can sit until it’s time for your appointment.

(If you’re seeing a therapist via telemedicine, all you have to do is log on!)

Sticking with it. Going to therapy is like a workout for your brain and emotions. And just like working out, it’s not easy: you may feel uncomfortable, sad, or angry as you discuss painful topics. But if you keep at it, you can see big gains.

It’s important to feel comfortable with your therapist.  If you don’t feel like the therapist is right for you, CHPW can help you find a new therapist.

I’m under 18. Can I see a therapist/mental health service provider/addiction specialist without telling my parent or guardian?

In Washington State, minors between 13 and 18 don’t need permission from a parent or guardian to access many health services, including:

➔ Learn more about your rights

I think my child is depressed/having a mental health or substance abuse issue. What can I do?

If your child is a CHPW member, their mental health and substance abuse treatment is covered. CHPW Customer Service can help you find an appropriate provider for your child’s needs as well as connect them to case management if they need it.

Behavioral health problems, including those related to bullying, substance abuse, and anxiety or depression, can look different in children and teens than they do in adults. Here are some symptoms to watch out for:

  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Sneaking around
  • Withdrawing from people
  • Bullying: “losing” favorite items, frequent headaches and stomachaches
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of interest in people or activities
  • New problems with the law or at school
  • Inability to focus
  • Trembling or shaking

If you’re concerned about your child, talk to their doctor or a school counselor and ask for resources in your community. If you need help right now, CHPW offers guidance on getting care, our 24/7 Nurse Advice Line and local helplines, and our directory of in-network providers.

Behavioral health resources and ways to get involved

Where can I learn more about mental health issues?

There are many resources for learning about mental health. If you’re looking for more information about behavioral health, substance abuse recovery, mental health, and more, here are some places to start:

Where can I learn more about substance use disorder and recovery?

There are many resources for learning about substance use disorder (SUD) and the path to recovery. Here are some places to start:

My life is really stressful right now. Is that a reason to get behavioral health treatment?

Absolutely. Life events can take up your time and resources, cause emotional pain, and add stress. All of these can affect your mental health and emotions. CHPW offers behavioral health services that can help, including care management. Learn more about life changes and how to handle them:

Where can I learn more about healthy daily living skills?

There are many resources for learning about healthy daily living skills. Here are some places to start:

I want to help my community address mental and behavioral health issues. How can I get involved?

There are lots of ways to become involved in how your community addresses mental and behavioral health challenges. Here are just a few of them.

Make recommendations for new laws.

If you or a family member have received behavioral health treatment, your lived experience is valuable. These organizations work with people like you to advocate for laws to improve how we give behavioral health care:

Join a community advisory board, forum, or committee.

Community advisory boards, forums, and committees are groups made up partly of members of the public, and partly of members of an institution (like lawmakers, doctors, or scientists). They share information back and forth to help the community make decisions.

Southwest Region (Clark, Klickitat and Skamania counties):

King Region (King County):

Spokane Region (Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, and Stevens counties):

North Sound Region (Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, San Juan, and Island counties):

Greater Columbia Region (Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima counties):

Volunteer in your community.

At CHPW, we believe that no one is alone. Volunteering is a wonderful way to use your lived experience to support others.

Southwest Region (Clark, Klickitat, and Skamania counties):

King Region (King County):

Spokane Region (Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, and Stevens counties):

North Sound Region (Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, San Juan, and Island counties):

Greater Columbia Region (Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima counties):

More FAQs for our members are available below:

➔ See Member FAQs
➔ See general Apple Health FAQs



[random_content group_id='19' num_posts='1']


Sales Team

Get real answers
from real people

Phone: 1-800-440-1561
[email protected]

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.