Glen A. Wilson recently announced the new “Wellness Room” to aid counselors in addressing student mental health.
Hacienda La Puente Unified School District has implemented new initiatives for the 2021-2022 school year with programs like the Teen Wellness Series and its partnership with mental provider Care Solace to provide mental health services and support for Wilson staff and students.
The “Wellness Room” serves as a private area where students can work with a counselor and support staff. The administration plans to host monthly-themed meetings during lunch. A total of ten students would be able to sign up per session with the condition of “first-come-first-serve” due to COVID-19 protocols, lead counselor Nancy Valenzuela explained. This year’s themes rotate between focusing on emotional, physical, environmental and social wellness.
The project was in development years ago when the idea came to Assistant Principal Rojas from another school. Rojas believes that it was a great way to “incorporate a space for the emotional well-being of students.”
“There has always been a need for mental health support,” Rojas said. “The pandemic has only heightened what was already there.”
Many of these projects implemented by the district stemmed from concerns of the pandemic.
According to Principal Danielle Kenfield, “students coming out of isolation” became the prime concern for the administration to address as some struggle to transition back to in-person learning.
“If we [do not] want to see this constant rotation of kids leaving school and making it harder for them to return, we have to be able to provide more support,” Kenfield said.
As a result, the “Wellness Room” will become a place for students to connect with the school closely.
When asked to comment on the idea, senior Sofia Vargas conveys that her only hope is for the Wellness Room to provide “a cushion” for students during stressful times.
“As a senior, AP exams can get super tiring for students. There are some days where you just do not want to go to class, feeling overwhelmed,” Vargas said.
As of right now, the current room is under development and is only available via invitation by a counselor. Administrators conclude the official release to be in the first week of October.