By Lisa Lussier, Clinician at The Path
It has been about two months since Wellspring's School-Based Clinical Services Division, The PATH, expanded into the South Plainfield School District.
There is one clinician who works primarily in the high school, providing counseling and supportive services to students, and on occasion is asked to assist in one of the other schools in the district.
The district saw a need to supplement their existing services and provide support for their students to address mental health issues, which we are seeing in large numbers in our youth.
Students have been referred for a variety of reasons including: anxiety, depression, family and peer related issues, anger management, grief, and suicidal ideation.Staff and students have been extremely welcoming and have quickly begun to utilize The PATH. As of today, 38 students have been seen.
Some of the students come to The PATH on a regular basis for counseling, while others utilize our services for support as needed.Eventually we hope to provide groups for students addressing topics such as self-esteem, anxiety, mindfulness and positive well-being and decision making.
Last month, Gina Miraglia, Wellspring Preventionist, provided the students at South Plainfield High School with an engaging and informative assembly on the dangers of vaping.Teens use of e-cigarettes and electronic vaping devices has skyrocketed.Gina also provided helpful resources, that students could turn to for more information and support.
In the future, we will also be providing professional development to staff on current drug trends and mental health topics including anxiety, depression and suicide prevention. We applaud the South Plainfield School District for their desire to address the emotional wellbeing of their students and are proud to assist in their endeavors.