Saturday, August 8

As mental health struggles increase, resources continue online

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With school online for the rest of the year as well as summer coming soon, counseling and therapeutic services are moving online. MVHS services such as Community Health Awareness Council and Children’s Health Council are having counseling over the phone. 

If students want access to school counseling and therapists, they can fill out the telehealth referral form. Students can access CHC counseling by calling 650-688-3625, or by visiting chconline.org

According to Wellness Coordinator William Blair, anxiety and depression are still the most common conditions that students have when going to get counseling. With COVID- 19, many students can feel additional anxiety because of the uncertainty around their lives and the future. 

I’ve been taking it out on my family

“The number one thing is to reach out for help…we want them to reach out to a teacher, administrator, family, me, so we can help connect them with professionals,” Blair said.

Even though the counseling department has sent out emails to students and teachers about their counseling services, some students don’t find counseling sessions over the phone to have the same effect as in person sessions, especially because of the lack of privacy.

Students write sticky notes with positive messages on them during mental health awareness week in ___. Resources such as this, spartan pause, and in-person counseling are no longer available, but have been taken online.

“There are some students that are receiving services based on family dynamics, and it’s difficult to discuss that when you’re in the house with your family,”Blair said.

According to Junior Maya Zolotar, many of her friends don’t have a good relationship with their parents. Being at home with their parents has been hard because they don’t agree with each other on different topics such as politics. 

“Not being around their friends and not being able to talk to anyone in person is very difficult,” says Zolotar.

Being at home has brought in a new set of problems because families aren’t used to spending so much time together, all in the same house. Senior Priya Jain explains that because of stress with her friends and school, she has lashed out to her family. 

“I’ve been taking it out on my family, especially my brother,” said Jain.

I want all the students to know that if they’re in need of support, there’s support

According to Jain, she has also begun to procrastinate more because of no school schedule and has had trouble staying motivated because senior year is almost over, something she says her family has told her to improve on. Even with struggles families might face, there have been some positive outcomes as well.

“I definitely feel like my family and I have gotten closer because you know, we’re spending a lot more time together,” Jain said.

But with many people at home, it can be difficult for students to have ideal counseling sessions. According to Blair, students felt safer and more comfortable when doing the counseling at MVHS, where there was more confidentiality. At home, there is less privacy with other family members around so students don’t feel as open to discuss with the counselors. 

While school was still in-person, students could walk into the office and request a referral for seeing a counselor. Now, students have to email a teacher or administrator for referrals, which takes more time and is more complicated.

Graphic by Julia Wagner

However,  Blair said the number of online referrals have gone up and more students are communicating to teachers and administrators as the shelter in place continues, but the counseling department hasn’t gotten nearly as many as when school was still in session. Another reason why the counseling office has been getting less referrals is because people have stopped continuing counseling. 

Some of the students who got counseling due to school stress or academics stopped receiving counseling because school isn’t in session anymore, and was therefore unnecessary according to Blair. 

Even with school out of session, counseling is still available. Students can email the counseling department to request counseling, or fill out this Telehealth Referral Form.  

“I want all the students to know that if they’re in need of support, there’s support,” Blair said.

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