meet clarity

transforming lives

Clarity Child Guidance Center is the only nonprofit mental health treatment center for kids ages 3 to 17 in South Texas. Our staff of children’s mental health professionals is the largest in the region. When a child is in crisis, we work with families to get much needed treatment regardless of their ability to pay.


To ensure that every child and family that needs our services receives our services


To support children and families in their pursuit of mental wellness.



Understand and care for kids consistently and unconditionally


Be honorable and trustworthy in all our actions


Value the dignity of everyone we encounter


Respect kids, families, and one another


Do what we say we’re going to do



Clarity Child Guidance Center’s roots go back to 1886 when thirteen women formed the Protestant Home for Destitute Children. They found the children who struggled to get adopted often had mental health issues.

By the 1960s, the San Antonio Children’s Center (as it was known then) specialized in treatment of children with behavioral and emotional disorders. Over time, the organization grew into the Southwest Mental Health Center, which was a hospital, diagnostic and treatment center, and educational training facility.

Another nonprofit leader in mental health was the Child Guidance Center of San Antonio. Established in 1956, this organization provided outpatient mental health services for children, adolescents, and families. The staff also worked with schools and other social agencies in the communities.

In 2010, the Southwest Mental Health Center and the Child Guidance Center of San Antonio merged and selected a new name to reflect their shared mission: Clarity Child Guidance Center!

our pinwheel

our pinwheel

Across the campus, Clarity is covered in pinwheels. Pinwheels on the walls, floor, sides of buildings, everywhere! But why?

Pinwheels represent unseen energy and childhood innocence.  These childhood symbols show kids and families who come to Clarity in distress that they are at a safe place where they can begin to turn their lives around!  There is always hope.

Mr. Parker's Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

mr. parker’s chocolate chip cookie recipe

Every time a child is discharged from Clarity Child Guidance Center, they get a giant chocolate chip cookie – one as big as their head! The tradition of huge discharge cookies goes back to the early 1970s.

One day, Arnold Parker, our former director of food services, decided to make a cookie the size of a dinner plate to celebrate a boy who would be leaving the inpatient program the next day. After everyone saw how special this gesture was for him, it was decided to lovingly make each child their own “Good Job “cookie when they completed inpatient treatment and this tradition lives on today.

You can find Mr. Parker’s chocolate chip cookie recipe here!

I want to support the kids at clarity!