Wellness Before GPAs

Imagine this, a student is having an anxiety attack, and her only option for comfort and support is going to the counselors. Instead of getting immediate help, she has to uncomfortably wait for a counselor of the day to help her cope, and by the time they get to her, her stress levels are through the roof. 

Now imagine if that same student had a room, with therapists on deck and available to listen to her problems, give her advice, do breathing exercises, or simply just allow her to color, or draw on a sheet of paper. 

According to an article by Beth Jakubanis, “Promoting Student Mental Health”, suicide is the third leading cause of death in students aged 10–24, with 90 percent of those dying by suicide having an underlying mental illness. 

A student spends a third of a twenty-four hour period at school, which is more than half of their week, and that’s not mentioning the time you factor in for sleeping, and traveling. Shouldn’t schools feel responsible for their students’ emotions and feelings? Especially because they spend majority of their day on their campus. 

A wellness center is a great alternative to having students wait for a counselor of a day. A wellness center entails a room filled with art supplies, comfy seating, and counselors whose time are spent solely on the students needs. 

The atmosphere provides a safe space for students in need of immediate care and attention. It allows a place for students to cope, and deal with the stress and pressures of modern day society. 

Counselor Rachel Zooi was recently able to get a wellness center at her school. In an interview she did with the LA times, she said, “ We were sad at some of what we heard, that students were crying in the bathroom when they had a meltdown,” Zooi said. “Our kids have pressures we didn’t have growing up,” she said. “It is my wish that any kid who needs it has a space that would feel welcoming and soothing, where they could take a 15-minute break or get whatever they needed.”

We need to acknowledge that students’ well being is just as important as their GPA, and a wellness center is one step closer to making the topic of mental health more open to conversation.

Although we can’t solve all of our students’ problems, we can at least make their week a little easier by comforting them and showing them that we care by opening up a wellness center.