Each school has a dedicated counselor. School counselors focus on academic, career, and social-emotional challenges. By creating solid and effective guidance programs, school counselors enhance the learning process and help create a positive school culture for academic achievement.

If you or your child would like to talk with a school counselor, you can:

  • Call or email your school counselor by either calling the school or locating theircontact information on the BPS website.
  • For immediate non-emergent support
    • 24 hour Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
    • Online crisis chat:
    • Crisis Text Line by texting HELLO to 741741.
  • For medical/mental health emergencies, call 911. You can also call Compass Mobile Crisis Outreach Team at 1-800-584-3578 to talk to a local mental health/crisis responder. You can also ask providers to come meet with you.

Below are some resources and more information on important topics.

Talking with Children about Violence and traumatic incidents

We work hard to ensure our schools are safe, welcoming places for all students and families to learn and thrive. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears. No matter how old your kids are, threatening or upsetting news can affect them emotionally. What can you do as a parent to help your kids process information that can be unsettling? Here are some tips to help with family conversations at home.

Your kids will look to the way you handle the news to determine their own approach. If you stay calm and rational, they will, too.

Make time to talk.

Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. Be patient; children and youth do not always talk about their feelings readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk. Young children may need concrete activities (such as drawing, looking at picture books, or imaginative play) to help them identify and express their feelings.

Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.

Early elementary school– provide simple information balanced by assurance of safety.

Upper elementary and early middle school– answer questions and assist in separating reality from fantasy.

Upper middle school and high school– students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence in schools and society. Emphasize student role in safety and how to access support.

Review safety procedures.

This should include procedures and safeguards at school and at home. Help children identify at least one adult at school and in the community to whom they go if they feel threatened or at risk.

Observe children’s emotional state.

Some children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can also indicate a child’s level of anxiety or discomfort. Seek the help of mental health professional if you are at all concerned.

Maintain a normal routine.

Keeping to a regular schedule can be reassuring and promote physical and mental health. Encourage them to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed. Limit/be aware of media exposure.

Talking with Children about Traumatic News or Events (NYU)

Community Resources

BPS Community Resources page has additional community agencies and resources, organized by topic.

If you have questions or concerns about a child, you can contact family resource navigators. They will help you figure out what’s needed, connect you with resources, and get you pointed in the right direction.

The is a locally based, community governed guide to the services and information needed to navigate life in Whatcom County. Opportunity Council is the steward of the resource directory.

Parenting Support

Brigid Collins Parenting Academy

The provides evidence-based one-on-one parent coaching and group parenting classes to help parents gain research-proven skills and knowledge to raise resilient, happy children, manage behavioral problems and improve relationships. Sliding scale fee and scholarships are available. To learn more, register for a coaching session, or to schedule a free 30-minute consultation, call (360) 922-3600 or email contact@parenting-academy.org.

Sound Discipline

One of our partners in establishing caring school environments, has

On social media, follow these agencies for support and encouragement:

    • Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK)
    • Strengthening Families Whatcom:

harnesses the power of positive interactions to prevent youth substance use.

Mental Health Providers

– Allows user to search by location, specialty, insurance, type of therapy, etc.


: 360-922-6670or 1-844-822-7609

: 360-398-5444


– 360-312-2019

Families can call 1-833-303-5437, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., to connect with a referral specialistfor children and teens 17 and younger from across Washington.

Suicide Prevention

is a collaborative program that includes the Whatcom County Health Department, ¥Public School District, the Whatcom Family and Community Network and the Whatcom Prevention Coalition, and is aimed at offering hope through positive action.

Schools are a key setting for suicide prevention. The provides many resources for school staff and mental health providers.

is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues.

Talking ¥ Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

- from RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization

from Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County

and from the National Domestic Violence Hotline

Talking ¥ Grief and Death

Laura Cardinal

Director of Mental Health Services

Laura Burke

Mental Health Specialist

Rachel Garcia

Mental Health Specialist

Jacy Johnson

Mental Health Specialist

Anna Rittmueller

Mental Health Specialist

Clover Martin

Administrative Assistant


Contact your school