May is Mental Health Month, a fitting opportunity to shine the light on services offered to students in the Westerville City School District. Tami Santa serves as Coordinator, Student Assistance Programs.
“Our team of professionals recognizes that children come to school from a variety of circumstances,” Santa said. “Everyone is committed to meeting the needs of the whole child and understands that student learning is best supported by maintaining positive relationships between family, school, and the community.”
Santa noted that it takes a focused effort involving many people to create a safe, caring, and supportive learning environment for students.
“We’ve worked hard to develop relationships between our schools, community safety agencies, and mental and physical health agencies,” she added. “Everyone works extremely well together, and our collective efforts help contribute to the overall well-being of our youth.”
There are supports for student mental health/wellness in each building. The district is able to provide social-emotional support services to students and/or refer families to numerous community agencies that can provide short- or long-term support when necessary. The level of service is determined individually and can include support from a school counselor, a student assistance program specialist or a Concord clinician, or any combination thereof.
We encourage any family to reach out and request help to access these services through their assigned school counselor or school administrator.
School Counselors are available in every district school should your student or family need additional support. They also are a point of contact if you have concerns for others who may benefit from additional support. Our counselors are highly trained and will treat every situation professionally and discretely.
Student Assistance Program
At the high school level, in addition to School Counselors, we have Student Assistance Program professionals who are trained clinicians able to provide assessment, education, counseling, and referral services in order to address student issues/concerns that may impact their well-being and/or academic performance.
Partnership with Concord Counseling
Santa said the district benefits from a strong partnership with Concord Counseling and can help families access various programs should they need support beyond what the schools are able to provide.
“Specialized programs and services are available for children, teens and young adults of all ages,” Santa explained. “For example, at the middle school level, we have four full-time prevention clinicians who are available to assist students and families on a daily basis, and Concord offers no-cost assessments for our elementary students and families who need support.” Santa said that building-level administrators or counselors initiate these referrals, but Concord Counseling completes all subsequent assessments at its offices.
The district also provides services and referrals regarding grief and bereavement, homelessness, emergency resources, district, local and national resources, and immediate support. Learn more at https://www.wcsoh.org/WellBeing.