New Child-Well being Center arrives at Tarleton to aid Erath county children with mental health aid


Alex Huerta/ The JTAC

The new Child-Wellbeing Center provides a kid-friendly environment to help children relax during their visit. The center is located on the first floor of the E.J. Howell Education Building

With mental disorder on the rise, Tarleton’s Psychology department has taken action to aid local children with the creation of the new child-well being center.

According to Dr. Stephanie Robertson, “1 in 6 children are being diagnosed with treatable mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.”

On October 8th of 2019, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the opening of the new child-well being center located in the Howell education building. The center is led by Dr. Stephanie Robertson who is a licensed psychologist with a focus in child and school psychology. The center also severs as a training facility by allowing graduates and current students work in the center as interns.

“The center has already begun to see local children and there are plans to have specialized counseling in November of this year,” Robertson said.

Along with the November counseling, there are also plans to hold weekly evaluations in January of 2020.

“I want to have the center hold specialized classes to aid parents in better understanding the nature of the disorder and how to better aid the child,” said Robertson.

The classes will have the parents learning about any medications that the child is taking as well as the proper procedures that the parents need to take in order to best aid the child. Children can either been seen for aid with a pre-existing diagnosis or they can be diagnosed through clinical evaluations done by Robertson.

“When doing on site evaluations I will work with the child to create a preliminary diagnosis, then I will write a diagnosis report and send it off to be approved,” Robertson said.

In such a small town like Stephenville it can be hard enough for a child to find help with mental illnesses. This challenge can be made even greater if the child comes from a low-income household.

According to Robertson there is a 1 in 5 chance of a child in a low income household being diagnosed with treatable mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, which is a significant increase from 1 in 6.

According to “Understanding urban child mental health,” an academic journal written by Mary M. McKay, James Pennington, Cynthia J. Lynn, Kathleen McCadam, “Low-income, minority children are at greater risk for the development of mental health difficulties, yet they are less likely to be served adequately by the current child mental health system.” It is for this reason that the creation of this new child-well being center will be a big help to the children of Stephenville in the journey to overcome their mental illnesses.

The center has big plans to aid the children and parents of Stephenville.

“My main goal for the center is to help people and parents understand that these disorders are treatable, that they are not just labels that end a child’s life before it begins,” Robertson said.

With autism on the rise she hopes to use the center as an education tool to aid students and local parents in
learning and understanding that mental disorders are treatable.

“I want to give them the tools necessary to aid the children affected by these treatable mental disorders,” Robertson said.

One thing is for sure with this newly created wellness center the children of Stephenville are in good hands.