Mental health resources within our schools

Mental+health+resources+within+our+schools

Hannah Cottrell, Staff Writer

Who is going to be using these resources?
Our guidance counselors have provided many resources for the students at our school. We have access to them at all times. Our resources that are here for us, are open for anyone who may be struggling or needs someone to talk to. Highschool can be tough for so many people and it is very important that we can have access to things that can help us.
 
What is provided for us right now in our school?
Jenison High School provides a fair amount of resources to our students here. We have 4 guidance counselors who you are able to me with at most any time. Jenny Riha, A high school guidance counselor here at Jenison High School states that students have access to guidance counselors who can be a resource for social/emotional, academic, and career support. All the Jenison staff last year were also trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid, and we have staff members who are trained in QPR. Jenison is also working on getting mental health into our curriculum. It is currently not included in our Decisions or Health classes right now.
 
When are students allowed to use these resources?
Students are able to use any of the resources at any time during the school day. During the beginning of our freshman year at Jenison we joined our counseling google classroom. The google classroom has tips to help with mental health posted in there from time to time. We also have a links where we are able to book appointments with out counselors for periods during the day. Most of the time we are also able to walk into the guidance office to see them as well.
 
How are we able to access this?
Here at Jenison Highschool we are able to access our resources in many ways. First of all we have 4 guidance counselors. Each student has one assigned to them by last name. These counselors are available most time through out the day. We are able To walk into the guidance office and talk to them, if they’re not available at the time we are able to make appointments to be with them. We’re also able to come in to the counseling office at any time that we need a “break”. Our counselors do not have licensed therapist that come in for long term therapy. They do work with your parents to help set you up with one if that’s what you need to help accommodate you.
 
Why is it important to provide these resources?
Students are going through so much but especially during the school year. They have all the pressure of getting everything for school done and correct. On top of that they have everything going on outside of school as well. Some kids could be going through so much at home without anyone knowing and no one to talk to about it. In Patrick Walls article he explains that “Mental health problems among young people, already on the rise pre-pandemic, spiked over the past year. Teens reported feeling more stressed and disconnected, and mental health crises accounted for a larger share of children’s emergency room visits. All the while, students had less access to school-based social services and outlets such as sports, arts, and afterschool programs.”(Patrick Wall). Students need these resources more now than ever. Sometimes at home it is so hard to advocate for help for yourself. Having these options available could help someone more than you could ever imagine. Most of the time adults have a very hard time talking about their feelings. They apply that to teenagers so most of the time its not thought of to have resources available. However that is not the case, When teenagers talk about the feelings most of the time it benefits them. Having these resources can help so much.
 
Where are these resources coming from?
The resources we have throughout our school are coming from our counselors. Adding new and more resources does not mean that we have to spend money to get the newest things. It does mean training the people we have now in the school on how to better act on the students issues. According to Elizabeth Koschmann, executive director of a University of Michigan program ​​created to make mental health services accessible to students. She said “The solution to supporting student mental health during the pandemic may not require hiring more professionals. Instead, equipping current school employees with the needed “tools, resources, and professional development” may be what will help address their students’ mental health.” (Michigan students to school leaders: We need more help with mental health)
 
Do schools have enough money to keep adding more resources to help the students?
Schools do have enough money to fill these positions and hire new staff to help with the students. According to Ethan Bakuli’s article, Schools have opportunities for the funding to get more resources or new staff to help assist the students. None of the positions are being filled. Most of the time they are mental draining for the “helpers” aswell and are not paying enough. These jobs can be so hard to fill because not only does it have an affect on the students but also on the staff.