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School Counselors vs. Mental Health Counselors

March 19, 2020

About four million 9 to 17 year olds have a major mental health disorder resulting in significant impairment at home, at school and with peers, according to a report of the Surgeon General’s Conference on Children’s Mental Health. At least one in five children and adolescents has a mental health disorder, and one in 10 has a serious disorder. Mental health disorders affect students’ ability to succeed in school both academically and socially.

These staggering statistics underscore the importance of being cognizant of students’ mental well-being while also knowing when to refer a student to outside Mental Health Counselors. School counselors, along with other specialized instruction support personnel, are often on the forefront of identifying behaviors that could signal something more serious. Download accompanying handout here.

Earn 0.1 CEUs/1 contact hour for this webinar by purchasing and passing the corresponding quiz found in the Specialists and Exams section of the Online Store. CEU exams are available for 3 years following the live webinar. 

Learning objectives:
After viewing this webinar, you should be able to:

  1. Identify the unique role of school counselors and mental health counselors in addressing students’ mental health needs.
  2. Describe how to address the mental health needs of students appropriately depending on your role and expertise.
  3. Identify best practices for schools to follow to protect the mental health and safety of all students.


  • Joel E. Miller, Executive Director and CEO, AMHCA
  • H. Gray Otis, PhD, CMHC, DCMHS-T
  • Jill Cook, Assistant Director, ASCA
  • Jennifer Kline, Ed.S., School Counselor, Festus High School, Festus, MO

Original air date: March 18, 2020