By: Lauren Balkan, Deputy Director – School-Based Clinical Services

Since 2006, Wellspring has been delivering school-based clinical services (SBCS) in Middlesex County. The flagship program, Pathways School-Based Youth Services Program, established at Carteret High School, is funded by a grant from the NJ Department of Children and Services. Additional programs have been implemented at Carteret Middle School, Carteret Elementary schools, Carteret Junior High School, South Plainfield High School, South Plainfield Middle School, Grant School and Metuchen High School.

Our SBCS provide custom-tailored, collaborative, school-based programs that offer the best of mental health counseling, social-emotional learning activities, structured recreation, psycho-education, and skill-building, in a non-stigmatizing school-based environment. We’re especially proud that the SBCS program developed a variety of effective models that can be custom-tailored to each school district’s learning environment and student needs.

Eash of our SBCS programs was developed and is being implemented in collaboration with each school district’s practices and on-site support services to ensure a seamless, barrier-free environment to care. Each program is staffed by professionals experienced in youth development, mental health counseling, and case management and backed by Wellspring’s mission to help educators focus on their youth and foster and develop healthy minds and healthy bodies.

A small sample of programs we offer include:

  • Individualized mental health and supportive counseling.
  • Skill-building groups include social skills, conflict resolution, mindfulness, anger management, and stress management.
  • Healthy youth development programs including community service, peer leadership and mentoring.
  • Prevention programming focused on the reduction of a multitude of adolescent risk factors.
  • Educational workshops for faculty and parents
  • Direct in-class support for students and teachers
  • Collaborations with the school team and outpatient resources
  • Partnerships with child study teams
  • Parent support groups
  • Transitional programs to assist students with school and grade level changes

The SBCS program’s success can be gleaned by a quick review of the past year’s performances.

Carteret School District (9 Clinical Staff at CHS, CJHS, CMS and all 3 elementary schools)

  • 846 Unduplicated students provided individual or family counseling and/or group services
  •  6,106 Counseling sessions delivered
  • 14,106 contacts made through events
  • 117 Events offered
  • 69 Classroom lessons completed
  • 24 Different groups provided

South Plainfield School District (3 clinical staff providing services at SPHS, SPMS and Grant School)

  • 154 Students seen for mental health counseling
  • 1,208 individual counseling sessions
  • 2,359 total student contacts

Metuchen High School (part time clinician on site)

  • 45 Unduplicated students attended mental health counseling
  • 280 individual counseling sessions
  • 30 crisis sessions
  • 1,194 total student contacts

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