You are already a part of our team.
The Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic is a private non-profit, outpatient mental health center for children and families. Since 1946, the Clinic has provided individual, family, and group counseling services for children, adolescents, and families who reside in Kern County, California.
The Clinic serves families with a wide range of issues. Typically, children and adolescents are referred to the Clinic because of difficulties that interfere with their functioning at home, in school or in the community. Problems may be related to control, attention, mood, anger management, etc. The Clinic also serves children and adolescents who have experienced various forms of abuse, neglect or other hardships that affect their daily lives.
As educators, you play an important role in the mental health of your students. A positive school environment not only leads to higher academic performance, it has also been shown to contribute to higher self-esteem and lower instances of substance use. Since interact with students everyday, teachers, counselors, and other school staff may be the first to notice symptoms of mental health disorders in their students. The American Psychiatric Association suggests that educators follow these steps for effective mental health and substance use intervention:
Teachers, counselors, and other school officials interact with students everyday, so it is important that you are able to recognize signs of mental health issues, such as:
- Behavior changes - defiance / oppositional behavior or conduct
- Mood and/or emotional difficulties – tearful, withdrawn, emotional outbursts
- Anxious or excessively worried or preoccupied
- Difficulties with attention and concentration
- Evidence of self harm – comments made or cut marks, bruises, burns observed
- Suspicion of drug and/or alcohol use
- Unusual behaviors – isolates, talks to self, detached
Once you have recognized the signs of mental health issues in a student, it is important to open a line of communication with them. Ask questions, listen, and be compassionate when you respond.
- Express your concern in a caring, non-judgmental manner, for example, “I noticed you seem to be a little worried or distracted lately?”
- Speak to your student in a manner that invites open and honest communication. For example, “I’ve overheard you mention several times lately that things have been difficult for you. How are you doing?”
- Try to avoid arguing, judging or acting shocked with any response you receive. Instead suggest that help is available and you can assist.
If you are concerned for the wellbeing of a student, it is important that you share what you have observed or learned with someone who can ensure that student gets the help they need:
- Parents or caregivers
- School Counselors
- School Nurse or Doctor
- Community mental health center such as the Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic
1. Click the "Make a Referral" button below
2. Complete the referral form to the best of your ability
3. Print and fax* the form to the Child Guidance Clinic near you
We will respond to your referral within 1 business day.
*Fax numbers for each of our three locations can be found at the bottom of the referral form.