Prevention and Intervention

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, 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, substance use, mental health, and safety. (For more information, see below).
  • Brief Intervention: Based on Check Yourself 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.

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 this tool, and their feedback was essential in compiling a questionnaire 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. Taking the Check Yourself questionnaire is optional, both students and parents/guardians can opt out of screening.

Eckstein Middle School, Franklin High School, Hamilton International Middle School, Ingraham High School, Jane Addams Middle School, Madison Middle School, Meany Middle School, and Whitman Middle School currently implement the SBIRT program. At these schools, the Check Yourself questionnaire is given universally to 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students. Meany Middle School will also universally screen 6th grade. Universal screening helps to reduce bias in the process of identifying and responding to student needs and helps to destigmatize access to behavioral health services. Universal screening also allows our schools to identify concerns early, when they can be addressed with minimal disruption and before larger issues develop. The Check Yourself questionnaire is also occasionally given to designated students who may be identified due to 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.


SBIRT 2021-2022 Infographic

SBIRT 2020-2021 Infographic

English SBIRT Check Yourself FAQ 21-22

Spanish SBIRT Check Yourself FAQ 21-22

Somali SBIRT Check Yourself FAQ 21-22

Vietnamese SBIRT Check Yourself FAQ 21-22

Amharic SBIRT Check Yourself FAQ 21-22

Chinese SBIRT Check Yourself FAQ 21-22