SBIRT and Check Yourself
What is SBIRT and Check Yourself?
Seattle Public Schools is committed to supporting students’ academic, physical, social and emotional wellbeing. The SBIRT program, which stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral To services, is used to identify, reduce, and prevent adolescent substance use and to support students’ mental health and personal safety. In alignment with SPS’ Strategic Plan, the SBIRT model includes universal screening which helps to create a safe and welcoming environment for students by reducing bias in the process of identifying and responding to student needs, and by destigmatizing access to behavioral health services. SBIRT is offered in partnership with the King County Department of Community and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SBIRT has three main components:
- Screening: Students take an interactive, secure, 15-20 minute web-based questionnaire called “Check Yourself” that 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, coping strategies, substance use, mental health, and safety.
- Brief Intervention: Based on Check Yourself results, an SPS staff member will connect with students who requested support or indicated a potential need to determine if further support is needed. 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 school- or community-based services based on the student’s unique needs.
Developed by Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Check Yourself questionnaire incorporates validated screening tools and is an important innovation to fill a gap in strengths-based youth health promotion and substance use prevention. King County youth and families were involved in the development of Check Yourself, and their feedback was essential in compiling a questionnaire that is comprehensive, culturally responsive, and youth friendly. In the 2022-23 school year, the SBIRT program helped identify the strengths and needs of 2,895 SPS students, and when appropriate, connected them with services and resources for support.