• The HHS Counseling Department is committed to supporting the social and emotional well-being of our students.  If you are a student in need of non-urgent help, please feel free to contact Ms. Sterns in one of the following ways:
    Phone: 509-678-8792
    Email: Ksterns@highland.wednet.edu
    Or visit her office.

    Crisis Resources:

    • In case of emergency, call: 9-1-1
    • Crisis Phone Numbers:
      • Yakima County - Comprehensive Health Care Crisis Line: 509-575-4200
      • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK(8255)
      • LGBTQ Helpline: The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
      • Text Message Helpline: Text “START” to 741-741
      • National Parent Helpline 1-855-4 A PARENT or 1-855-427-2736
      • Info Children /Parent Helpline 1-778-782-3548
    • Walk-In Mental Health Crisis Services:
      • Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital - Emergency Room
      • Comprehensive Healthcare – Acute Care Crisis Triage Center
        • Same-day Mental Health Crisis Evaluations
        • Walk-ins welcome
        • Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm
        • 505 South 4th Ave, Building “B”, Yakima, WA 98902
        • 509-576-4304

    Counseling Services in Yakima:

    • Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health
      • General questions: 509-575-4084
      • Direct Intake line: 509-574-5061
      • 402 S 4th Ave, Yakima, WA 98902
      • Bilingual services, accepts medical coupons, state and private insurance
    • Behavioral Health Services (Yakima Valley Farmworkers’ Clinic)
      • Intake line: 509-453-1344
      • 918 E Mead Ave, Yakima, WA 98903
      • Bilingual services, accepts medical coupons, state and private insurance
    • Catholic Family & Child Services
      • 509-965-7100
      • 5301 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98908
      • Bilingual services, accepts medical coupons, state and private insurance

    Other Resources:

    Rod’s House: 509-895-2665

    Yakima Neighborhood Health – The Space (LGBTQ Youth): 509-454-4143

    Child Protective Services: 1-855-420-5888

    Children’s Village: 509-574-3260

    NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of Yakima: 509-575-4200


    Suicide Prevention

    What leads to suicide? There’s no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. Yet it’s important to note that most people who actively manage their mental health conditions go on to engage in life.  Suicide risk factors Risk factors are characteristics or conditions that increase the chance that a person may try to take their life.


    Suicide Risk Factors:

    • Mental/Emotional and Physical Health- Depression, Substance use, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Personality traits of aggression, mood changes and poor relationships, Conduct disorder, Anxiety disorders, Serious physical health conditions including pain, Traumatic brain injury
    • Environmental- Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs; prolonged stress, such as harassment, bullying, relationship problems or unemployment; Stressful life events, like rejection, divorce, financial crisis, other life transitions or loss; Exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide
    • Historical- Previous suicide attempts, Family history of suicide, Childhood abuse, neglect or trauma


    Suicide Warning Signs:

    • Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.
    • Talk- If a person talks about: killing themselves, feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, being a burden to others, feeling trapped, unbearable pain
    • Behavior- Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change: Increased use of alcohol or drugs; looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods; withdrawing from activities, isolating from family and friends; sleeping too much or too little; visiting or calling people to say goodbye; giving away prized possessions; aggression; fatigue
    • Mood- People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods: Depression, Anxiety, Loss of interest, Irritability, Humiliation/Shame, Agitation/Anger, Relief/Sudden Improvement

    Risk Factors, Protective Factors and Warning Signs


    If you or your family is experiencing distress and need support, call:

    • National Parent Helpline 1-855-4 A PARENT or 1-855-427-2736
    • Info Children /Parent Helpline 1-778-782-3548
    • National Suicide Prevention 1-800-273-8255
    • Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741
    • Local Crisis Line for Yakima County: 509-575-4200
    • NAMI 509-453-8229 (available 24/7)
    • Children’s Mental Health Resource: https://onoursleeves.org/

    The HHS Counseling Department provides guidance and support to meet the academic, social/emotional and post-secondary planning needs of all students, grades 9-12. 

    Kari Sterns  -  High School Counselor

    Phone: 509-678-8792 

    Email: KSterns@highland.wednet.edu


    Traci Connolly  - Counseling Secretary, Registrar & Student Records

    Phone: 509-678-8804

    Email: TConnolly@highland.wednet.edu
    Fax: 509-678-4140