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Project AWARE

Contact Information

Bridget Underdahl
Project AWARE Program Supervisor


Project AWARE is a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) spread over five years to both build and grow mental health services and behavioral health education within the awarded districts. OSPI’s Project AWARE is now in its second cycle. It is the vision of OSPI that all young learners can be successful. Mental health services and educators, staff, mental health professionals and community members who have behavioral health training are integral to this success.

The Project AWARE teams have been working hard to create positive change in their districts.  See the Year 2 Update for Project AWARE video!


OSPI coordinates with both K12 and behavioral health systems to improve mental health awareness and response within the awarded districts. Project AWARE has been awarded to three local education agencies (LEAs). It is the goal of all stakeholders to reduce the high vulnerability to barriers in accessing mental health supports.

Project AWARE focuses on improving school climate, safety, and substance abuse prevention through increased collaboration based on a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). All stakeholders follow the interconnected systems framework to reach project goals. This framework is used to help increase awareness of mental health issues, connect school-aged youth to services and train personnel and other adults.

2022-26 Allocation Grantees

2020-25 Allocation Grantees

Connecting Washington Project AWARE Grantees

  • OSPI advises and supports the facilitation of Project AWARE grantees at both Seattle Public Schools and ESD 101Please note: These Project AWARE grantees have allocation for 2022-2026!



The Project AWARE grant is built on an interconnected systems framework, the base of which is home and community awareness, with the goals of de-stigmatizing mental health issues through awareness training, building self-healing, trauma-informed communities, and creating community partnerships.

  • Tier 1: Universal prevention, incorporating universal behavioral health screenings and support for school/home partnerships, trauma-informed training for school staff, Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports, and other prevention activities
  • Tier 2: Targeted interventions, such as one-to-one or small group interventions
  • Tier 3: Supports for students in need of wraparound services


  • Increase literacy and awareness of behavioral health issues among school-aged youth
  • Promote social and emotional learning
  • Connect children, youth, and families who may have behavioral health issues with appropriate services
  • Improve school climate
  • Promote positive mental health among youth and families through social and emotional learning
  • Build the capacity and leadership to sustain community-based mental health promotion, prevention, early identification and treatment services
  • Provide training for school personnel and other adults who interact with school-aged youth to detect and respond to mental health issues in children and young adults



Our mission is to enhance the mental and behavioral health of all students connected to Project AWARE through an interconnected system framework with the partnerships of education, mental health, and community supports which promote wellness, resilience, and tools to empower all students, families, educators, and school staff.


Through comprehensive mental and behavior health supports all students will be prepared for post-secondary pathways, careers and civic engagement.


  • Ensuring equity
  • Collaborations and service
  • Achieving excellence through continuous improvement
  • Focus on the whole child