Northwest Directions

Family Directed, Family Centered, Child Focused

The aim of providing outpatient outreach services within the school setting is to engage children and families who are in need of professional help to overcome mild to moderate mental health symptoms. We focus on helping the child overcome/ manage these symptoms by working individually with the child but also by working with the child’s family system which allows the parents and the child to:

  • Direct the course of treatment delivery.
  • Create reasonable goals for the child and family to achieve sustainable results.
  • Foster greater stability and well-being for the family and the child.
  • Allow children and their families to be served in a location that is deemed therapeutically beneficial for the child and family, to support and achieve their desired outcomes.


Team Approach

Outpatient counseling services provided by Northwest Directions (NWD) and educational services provided by the school district are separate services. Each entity abides by strict confidentiality rules. Information that is shared between the two entities is directed by the child and his/her guardian through a release of information form. These rules and boundaries are important and both entities value them. We also value collaboration among these entities. Through the collaboration and sharing of information between identified professionals, greater stability can be achieved for the family and the child in both the school and the community environment. Both entities will abide by the guardian’s decision on how NWD and the school will communicate.


Individualized/ Culturally Competent/ Belief in Growth

NWD services will be individualized, family-centered, and culturally sensitive with a focus on building strengths. NWD will generate a comprehensive assessment of the child’s mental health status and a treatment plan that allows the family and child to gain stability and focus on their priorities. It is our belief that every family and child can grow, recover and function at a level that improves their quality of life.


We offer outpatient psychiatric services via our certified telehealth services to our active Northwest Journey youth.  Patients must be referred by their primary care physician. To schedule an appointment, please call 866-727-5805.

Goals of the program:

  • Provide therapeutic outreach to meet children and families in the community and provide preventative, comprehensive, quality mental health services.
  • Meet children and families where they are, by providing services in office settings, schools, or homes whenever possible.
  • Create opportunities for community outreach, aftercare services, and services to prevent further mental health issues.
  • Develop partnerships that enhance the provision of mental health services to children and families.
  • Improve access to mental health services for children and families.
  • Improve the mental health of children and families within the community.

Qualifications and Certification

  • Northwest Directions is a certified outpatient mental health program in accordance with Wisconsin DHS 35.
  • Our outpatient mental health providers are licensed treatment professionals.

Our Clinical Approach

We draw on the strengths and coping skills children and families bring to the treatment process to help facilitate change and develop healthy skills and relationships, which result in a more productive and satisfying life experience.

With children, behaviors are a method of communication. Because many of the children we see don’t have the ability to verbalize and process effectively, they often use behaviors as a means of communicating their needs or to cope with their experiences and views of the world. We must listen to the client, seek to understand their behaviors, validate their needs and address the behaviors. This process is critical in order to promote comprehensive understanding of the client and his/her needs and a fully attentive treatment process that meets the client where they are. To ignore a child’s behavior is to ignore the child.

Our clinical analysis looks at a child’s chronological age and development, intellectual age and development, and emotional age and development. A child’s individual experiences, personal characteristics, learning styles, intellectual abilities, maturity, etc. all influence the child and his/her needs and development. We understand the complexities of child development and tailor our treatment accordingly.

We use our clinical knowledge and experience to examine the client’s history and current status to determine a comprehensive, individualized, clinical, evidence-based approach that addresses the needs of the child and his/her family.

Early Intervention

Because mental health problems impede the development process, we recommend early intervention. The longer we wait to address mental health needs, the more potential for delayed development and the development of more challenging behaviors.

Coordination of Care

NWD works collaboratively with county human services and school systems to provide outpatient mental health services that meet people in the community. As appropriate, NWD will coordinate mental health services with other providers. NWD will create collaborative relationships with schools by sharing resources and providing services within schools as appropriate.

Consider Northwest Directions Outpatient Services when:

  • A child or adolescent is experiencing mild to moderate mental health symptoms as evidenced by:
    • Intermittent school absence or school avoidance
    • A decrease in academic functioning and/or performance
    • Isolating behaviors
    • Difficulty concentrating or staying alert
    • Appearing irritable
    • Change in sleep and/or eating habits
    • Increase in challenging behaviors
    • Engaging in self harm activities
    • Change in mood and/or affect
    • Difficulty establishing and maintaining peer relationships
    • Loss of interest in hobbies/activities
    • A significant change in a child’s behavior.
  • A significant stressor has occurred in the child or adolescent’s life such as a loss, divorce, familial discord, or any emotional turmoil within the child or adolescent’s primary support group.
  • A child is transitioning from a day treatment setting, residential placement, inpatient hospitalization, and/or out of home placement back into his/her natural environment and/or supports.
  • Parents express concern about their child’s behavior and/or emotional functioning in the home.
  • A teacher(s) indicates concern about a student’s behavior and/or emotional functioning in school.


  • Third party payers (Private Insurance or Medical Assistance)- Our business department will work with referring parties and families to determine and develop coverage plans.
  • Self-pay contracts can be arranged on an as-needed basis.

Making a Referral

  • Northwest Directions accepts referrals from parents, social service personnel, community service providers (therapists, psychiatrists), and schools.
  • For additional referral or admissions information please contact a Northwest Directions program directly. This direct contact also offers you an opportunity to learn more about our agency and our services.

Outpatient Clinic Administrator: Ashley Johnson
Phone: (920) 336-8960
Fax: (920) 336-8963

Northwest Directions - Amery
Phone: (715) 491-8560
Fax: (888) 625-8641

Northwest Directions - Black River Falls
Phone: (715) 284-1100
Fax: (715) 284-1145

Northwest Directions - Menomonie
Phone: (715) 235-4245
Fax: (715) 235-4421

Northwest Directions - Siren
Phone: (715) 491-8560
Fax: (715) 268-6103

Northwest Directions - Wisconsin Rapids
Phone: (715) 424-5051
Fax: (715) 424-5720