Wellspring’s school-based clinical services provide custom-tailored, collaborative, school-based programs that offer the best of mental health counseling, structured recreation, psycho-education, and skill-building, in a non-stigmatizing school-based environment—plus wrap-around services to complete the care continuum.

Wellspring developed a variety of effective models that can be custom-tailored to your learning environment and student needs.

Our School-Based Clinical Services

Our efforts are designed around collaboration with the 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.

  • 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
  • Substance abuse programs specifically for adolescents
  • Direct linkage to licensed and accredited community-based programs through Wellspring
  • 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 as indicated by IEPs
  • Case management
  • Parent support groups
  • Positive recreation programs and possible summer programs
  • Transitional programs to assist students with school and grade level changes

Since 2006, Wellspring has been delivering school-based clinical services 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 are being 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.

For more information and to schedule a convenient appointment, please contact Wellspring Center for Prevention at 732-541-8960 ext. 4304 or lauren.balkan@wcpnj.org.

About Pathways

Youth Services Program

Pathways School Based Youth Services Program (SBYSP) is a comprehensive prevention and mental health treatment program.

The mission of Pathways is to address all the needs of the students of Carteret High School so that when they are in the classroom, they can focus on learning.

Pathways SBYSP, funded primarily by the NJ Department of Children and Families, is located inside Carteret High School and provides clinical, support, and recreational services to the students of the high school. The clinical staff provides mental health counseling for issues related to peer and family conflict, depression, anxiety, and a plethora of other issues aimed at improving the emotional wellbeing and functioning of the students. In addition, counseling services focus on academic issues and career and future planning.

Pathways also offers a number of clubs that provide opportunities for leadership development and service learning. Each year over 400 students (almost half the student body) participate in individual, family, or group services through the Pathways Program. Large events are also delivered to the entire school with a focus on substance use prevention, bullying prevention, safe driving, suicide prevention, healthy relationship development, and future planning.

Another priority of the Pathways program is providing opportunities for healthy, safe recreation. On a daily basis over 75 students come to the Pathways program during their lunch period to play games, do homework, use the computers or engage with Pathways staff. Because of the success of the high school program, Pathways was asked to deliver counseling and support services to the students of Carteret Middle School. While this program does not have all the components of the high school level program, it does provide services to over 100 students per year.

Current Focus


Over one third of the High School student body participates in individual, group, or family counseling each year. Most referrals come from students themselves. Individual counseling is provided by trained, licensed mental health professionals.

Educational Enrichment

Advocacy, homework support, and access to free computers are provided.

Employment Preparation

Employment and life skills counseling, as well as job search coaching and assistance, are offered.

Clinical and Support Groups

Whether it is the weekly Girl Talk support and empowerment group, SADD or the PALS community service initiative, students have the support they need to grow and express themselves.


In addition to providing a safe and comfortable space for recreation during lunch or study periods, Pathways arranges trips, special events, and an engaging summer camp.

Featured Programs

A Commitment to Community Service

PALS is a recreational community service club at PATHWAYS that provides the students of Carteret High School an opportunity to positively impact their environment. Opportunities include in-school volunteering and off-site community service activities such as participation with Habitat for Humanity, walks for a cause, a local food pantry, a senior citizen thanksgiving luncheon, and participation in a statewide community beach sweep.

The club’s momentum is maintained by enthusiastic participants and a dedicated student leadership team that generates ideas for future events based on the interests of the members and the needs of the community. PALS membership has grown to approximately 100 students each year, a size reportedly unmatched by any other non-sports-related club in the high school.

PALS has become an important staple of the PATHWAYS program as it is a welcoming environment for any student who is looking to get involved in school activities, meet new people, and feel like they belong to a particular group with a purpose.

By being part of PALS, students not only gain experiences that enhance their high school transcripts and leadership skills, but they also recognize the value and fun in giving to others. They learn that helping others is actually self-rewarding and fulfilling, and this contributes to positive self-esteem, a feeling of achievement and a sense of community among team members. Through participation in PALS, students are spreading the word that there is something to gain by giving.

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) is a peer leadership program dedicated to promoting healthy decision-making, particularly pertaining to underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving, as well as teen violence, and suicide.

As a nationally recognized program, SADD provides a forum for students to empower one another along with opportunities for education and advocacy for the student body of Carteret High School.

Throughout the school year, students participate in prevention-based activities such as Fatal Vision Goggles. SADD events include recognition of School Violence Awareness Week and Week of Respect through educational and recreational activities which promote a positive and safe learning environment.

The overall goal is a healthier high school experience through positive peer support and modeling.

Girl Talk is an after-school recreational group that provides a healthy outlet for female youth to discuss issues that are important to them while receiving peer support.

Girl Talk utilizes a strengths-based approach to foster self-esteem and healthy relationships. Girls have the opportunity to express themselves through creative and discussion-based activities such as journaling, collages, and exploring the impact of media on young women.

Girl Talk encourages girls to share their experiences, ideas, values, and talents in order to promote self-expression and empower one another.

The Gender & Sexuality Alliance club, commonly referred to as the GSA, is a recreational club at PATHWAYS that provides the students of Carteret High School with a fun and safe space to express themselves and address LGBTQ topics. The group provides a social and supportive component as well as an educational and advocacy aspect. The club includes monthly general and leadership meetings as well as a discussion group that addresses topics surrounding gender and sexuality.