Student Wellness Committee formed to prioritize mental health Counseling department will chair initiative

Sitting and laughing with friends, juniors Natalie Hsiao, McCall Hensley and Symphanie Tyler talk about their struggles at school. The Student Wellness Committee was formed to promote positive mental health, both at home and at school. “School is okay.” Tyler said, “[My school work] pretty stressful at times, but I'm able to control it.”

In order to help students address issues both school and non-school related, Principal Donna Levy formed the Student Wellness Committee. The administration plans to actively assist the student body with coping skills and stress management.

“I feel like this committee might help,” junior Taurie McDaniel said. “I know a lot of kids that won’t go to admin though. Most kids, I feel like, will just try and deal with it themselves and will just ignore the committee.”

This committee aims to encourage students in expressing their emotions when they need help on matters both school-related or not. During “Week of Respect” in October, Levy would like to bring in public speakers to lecture about positive mental health.

“I’m hoping that the committee will better acknowledge the impact of student responsibilities on their mental health,” Levy said. “By recognizing this, we help to keep each other healthy and happy because we’re one big family here. If we’re not looking out for each other, then who does?”

Teachers and staff serve on different committees such as the Technology Committee and Student Achievement CommitteeAlthough several teachers expressed interest in being a part of the committee, Levy delegated the responsibility to the counselors because they have a background in dealing with student health.

“The counselors will be responsible for investigating and providing resources that teachers can use in the classroom to promote mental health,” Levy said. “We want to make sure that these sources are reliable because we don’t want to make mistakes.”

While the committee is still new, the counselors already have ideas for future programming.

“We’re looking at doing some programming for the students and staff,” Lead Counselor Brian Lindemuth said. “I think it’d be helpful if we had programming that dealt with self-esteem, self-image [and] coping skills. We also want to acknowledge how to deal with social media conflicts because I think that a lot of times we get students that are scared to admit or talk about it.”

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