SBIRT and Check Yourself
What is SBIRT and Check Yourself?
Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral To services (SBIRT) is used to identify, reduce, and prevent substance use and to support students’ physical, emotional, and social wellbeing. The Seattle Public Schools SBIRT program is grant funded by King County’s Best Starts for Kids initiative which invests in strategies that promote healthier, more resilient children, youth, families, and communities. In the 2021-2022 school year, this program helped identify the strengths and needs of over 1,596 SPS students, connecting them with services and resources to help them succeed.
SBIRT has three main components.
- Screening: Students take an interactive, friendly, 15–20-minute screening called “Check Yourself” (CY). The screening provides instant personalized feedback about health behaviors and helps to determine whether a student may need additional support. Students answer questions about their strengths, goals, substance use, mental health, and safety. The secure, web-based screening can be done on any electronic device (For more information about CY, see below).
- Brief Intervention: Based on CY results, an SPS staff member will connect with students who requested support or indicated a potential need. If needed, the student may have short, ongoing conversations with an SPS staff member that focus on the student’s strengths and abilities, aiming to connect the student with their parents, and other strategies for success.
- Referral To services: If a student needs additional support, SPS staff may refer students and families to unique community services based on their need.
The Check Yourself screener, developed by the University of Washington’s Seattle Children’s Hospital with TickitHealth, is an engaging, research-based tool that students take as part of the SBIRT program. King County youth and parents were involved in the development of this tool, and their feedback was essential in compiling a screener that is comprehensive, culturally responsive, and youth friendly. The goal of the tool is to help spark conversations between students and their school support team that motivate students to make healthy choices. This model has been proven successful in supporting individuals in primary care settings, school-based health clinics, and emergency departments. Check Yourself is an optional screener that both students and parents can opt out of.
We are currently administering the screener universally to 7th and 8th graders at six sites: Eckstein Middle School, Hamilton Middle School, Jane Addams Middle School, Madison Middle School, Meany Middle School, and Whitman Middle School. We are also beginning SBIRT at Franklin High School and Ingraham High School, with a plan to universally screen 9th grade students. Universal screening allows our schools to identify concerns early, when they can be addressed with minimal disruption and before larger issues develop. Additionally, designated students are asked to take the Check Yourself screener. Students may be individually identified for screening due to self-referral, low attendance, substance use disciplinary actions, or other objective student data sources.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, now more than ever many students are experiencing isolation, anxiety, and depression. The SBIRT program works to identify these students and connect them with ongoing supports.
For more information on Check Yourself and SBIRT, please visit the SBIRT Check Yourself FAQ Sheet