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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 build infrastructure and expand the capacity of the state and district partners around mental health. OSPI’s Project AWARE is now in its second cycle and has worked to build a comprehensive, coordinated, and integrated school behavioral health services system that supports every student in reaching their fullest potential in school and life.

OSPI collaborates with behavioral health stakeholders to improve mental health awareness and response. In addition, Project AWARE has partnered with three local education agencies (LEAs) These partner LEAs include Sunnyside School District, Yakima School District, and Wahluke School District

Project AWARE focuses on improving school climate, safety, and substance abuse prevention. Through increased collaboration based on a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), this model is used to sustainably fund the provision of high impact school and community-based behavioral and mental health services. All stakeholders follow the interconnected systems framework model to reach project goals.

Please note: The current Project AWARE grant is allocated for 2020-2025!

Project Framework

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



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

  • 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

  • Project AWARE fact sheet (coming soon!)