Anxiety, Stress, Panic? Who can help?


Anna Mullins, Staff Writer

Have you ever been so over stressed that you don’t think you can last another day, and you don’t know who to ask for help? You can find some wonderful people willing to help if you just look in the right place. Here at GHS there are so many people willing to help you with anything you need. If you need help with classes, peers, or even how you feel day-to-day, there are great counselors that are open and willing to help everyone with just about anything.

There are still things that the school is doing to make the students feel safer and to help more students. Next year the school will be getting a LADAC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor). This will help with kids who chose to use drugs and alcohol to deal with the stress of high school. In our school there are people who abuse drugs and/or alcohol. You may know someone who do, it may be your friend or it could be someone you have barely talked to. Having LADAC at school will help those kids find better ways of dealing with stress and help get them on track for adulthood.

Mr.Webb, one of the five guidance counselors, expressed how he feels about the system in place now for mental health telling me that he believes that what the school is doing for dealing with mental health issues is very good. He also said that “ we have a deficit in our guidance department. We don’t have anyone who specializes in drug and alcohol issues.” This is about the change because, “in the budget for next year we hope to add a LADAC,” to help with the students, who tend to be at the bottom of the class, who turn to drugs and alcohol get back on the right path. Mr. Webb feels like this will be a good use of the schools money, so that more students will be able to lead a better life and get a good education.

At GHS there is a club called Peer Outreach and they are helping spread mental health awareness at GHS, Mr. Webb is one of the two advisers that run this club. He, and Mr. McDermott, help the 15 students learn how to help themselves and others through this club. Peer Outreach meets every Tuesday at 2:45 in room 203. This group takes a pledge not to do drugs and alcohol and they have counselors come in to talk to them and help them to know how to help people and help themselves.

Mr. Webb says that the students “have a mission of empowering students to make good choices.” In Peer Outreach the students are taught how to help people and Mr. Webb told me that he is  trying to get them to be “good active listeners and we want to spread that out to as many people as possible,” and that is definitely part of helping people around mental health. He “would love it to be a graduation requirement to have good listening skills and be able to help yourself and others around mental health.”

He would want the students to wear a starfish pin on their graduation gown to show that they know how to help themselves and others. He says “the starfish has a special place in [his] heart,” because of a story about a little girl visiting her grandparents, who live on the ocean. There is a huge storm when she’s there, and 1000s of starfish wash up on the beach. After the storm the little girl goes down on the beach and starts to throw the starfish back into the water. A woman is walking on the beach and sees what the girls doing. She goes up to the girl and says “ there are is a ton of starfish on the beach you can’t possibly make a difference.” The girl picks up another starfish, looks at the woman and throws it into the water and says “ I made a difference to that one.” Mr. Webb says, “The meaning being you can’t save everyone, but if you have the knowledge and training a wisdom and insight to save one person then you do it,” if you are able to save that one person then you should.

There are currently seven people who their main job at GHS is taking care on the mental health of students. There are five counselors, a guidance director, Ms. Lewis, and a psychologist, Ms. More. All of these people are here to help students with mental health problems and are here of all students who need them. Teachers are also here to help. They will report thing that they might hear or see in class and the counselors will take care of it how they see best helps the student or students involved.

“If someone is feeling suicidal and they themselves came down of a friend came down or a friend brought them down they would see a counselor then, would get them to see the school psychologist or have a come in and get them to an outside therapist so that they can get the help that they need,” Mr. Webb responds to the question, What would the school do if someone had thoughts of suicide? All of the adults in this school wants to make the students feel safe. Mr. Webb says that “ we take every comment, threat, joke seriously,” they want the friends that asks a teacher to check on their friend to know that someone will intervene and make sure their friend is safe. Mr. Webb has been here for 18 years and there hasn’t been any suicides within that time. He says that is one of the two ways he determines whether the school is doing a good job at handling mental health issues. The other way he says is if the students have a plan for when they get out of high school. 80% of students go on to collage and 20% of students go to military, work, or take a gap year. All are okay for Mr. Webb, he just wants students to have some idea of what they want to do after high school. With his two ways of determining how well the school is doing with mental health we are doing very good. Mr. Webb would like to tell the students that feel uncomfortable going to guidance or who are nervous going to see their counselor he says “come down to guidance a check it out because it is a fun, vibrant place with lots of artwork,” and “we want it to be welcoming.” Guidance is an accepting place just meant to help you with pretty much anything.