Mental Health Resources, Interview with the New Zen Den Intern


Mia Souther, Editor of Wellness

In March 2020,  a few weeks into distance learning the William S. Hart district came up with a solution to help those seeking mental health support amidst the pandemic. This solution is called the Warm Line. The Warm Line is a tool for Castaic’s new wellness intern, Joshua Grattan to contact those seeking mental health support. The warm line isn’t to be used if you are in a crisis. 

I interviewed Joshua Grattan to further understand the Warm Line, gain some insight into his important role at Castaic High School, and hear his advice for mental health during this challenging time. 

Grattan is the new social work intern at Castaic’s Zen Den. He grew up in the Hart District and attended both Arroyo Seco Junior High and Saugus High School. He is a graduate student at CSUN and is “dedicated to promoting overall well-being to the students of Castaic”. His favorite band is Radiohead, and his favorite horror movie is Jon Carpenter’s “The Thing”. In his free time, he enjoys “discovering music and playing drums in a band.”

There has been lots of confusion on what exactly the Warm-line is and how it should be used. Here is how Mr. Grattan describes it, “The Wellness Warm-Line is a service provided to all Hart District students who are seeking emotional support during the “stay at home” order we are all currently experiencing. Students can send a request through the Hart District Wellness site to share concerns about stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or to just vent about their day and talk to someone.” 

The Warm Line is an important tool for students seeking mental health support during this time. 

If you or a peer is struggling with their mental health but is afraid to reach out for help, here is some wisdom Mr. Gattan would like to share with you: “I would first like to say that reaching out for help does not mean you are weak. In fact, reaching out for help is a big sign of health and courage. I know it can feel scary and uncertain to talk to someone when you might not be sure what to say or know what you need. Everyone has moments of feeling sad, stressed, and worried. It is completely normal to feel this way, but you don’t have to go through it alone. I encourage you to reach out to the Wellness Warm-Line to open up that conversation, to learn how to use your support systems, and learn about the many resources we have available for you.”

I asked Mr. Grattan what does he want students to know about the warm line. Here is his response: “I would want students to know that any information shared through the warm line is confidential. Our goal is to provide support before a mental health crisis. The warm-line can be accessed during school days (Monday through Friday 8 am-3 pm). If you know someone or you yourself need immediate help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.”

Mental health can be an uncomfortable conversation to have at times. However, it is important more than ever to check-in with your peers/friends/loved-ones. If you, or know someone who is struggling with their mental health here is some advice Mr. Grattan would share with you: “This might sound simple, but my advice is to be a friend to your peers. Reach out to your fellow students, ask about what they’ve been going through, or just talk to get your minds off school/dating issues/covid/etc. The current lack of in-person social engagement has been affecting all of us. Checking in and having a conversation might just be what someone needs right now. Be patient if they aren’t ready to talk about what is bothering them, that’s okay. Take what they say seriously, and don’t ignore signs that might make you concerned for their mental health including drug/alcohol use, not showing up to class, or expressing thoughts and feelings of depression and suicide. Lastly, I would suggest referring peers to the Zen Den Wellness Center here at Castaic High School which has a lot of amazing services for students, groups, and families who seek emotional support.”

Click here to request an individual counseling session from the Zen Den

Or use this QR code


Click here to access the district Warm Line

Click here to access Castaic’s Virtual Wellness Corner 

Thank you Mr. Grattan for lending your time to share more with us about the critical Warm Line. We are grateful to have you a part of our school!