Thinking about the teachers

SHS offers mental health resources to teachers and faculty

Adult+and+Child+located+at+8320+Madison+Ave.+Adult+and+Child+resources+are+available+for+anyone+who+may+need+it.+

Josiah Veen

Adult and Child located at 8320 Madison Ave. Adult and Child resources are available for anyone who may need it.

According to Perryschools.org, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” 

While the public normally focuses on the mental health of adolescence, teachers at SHS now have a voluntary, temporary counseling service provided by the school district.

The district will pay for any teacher and/or their immediate family to have six sessions with a counselor. This is meant to let them find a good fit for them without making them have to burden themselves with exorbitant prices.

Our main focus is that our staff get connected to the right individual.”

— Perry Township Benefits Specialist Joyce Genneken

“Our main focus is that our staff get connected to the right individual,” said Perry Township Benefits Specialist Joyce Genneken.

After the sixth session, if they are in need of long-term counseling, then the continued sessions will have a $40 co-pay dictated by the provided health insurance by Perry Township.

Despite being provided by SHS, discussions with counselors are confidential, unless what is said endangers other people, yourself or has been approved to be disclosed.

This is all part of SHS’s emphasis on students and teachers mental health awareness. SHS has created instructional videos in the past about how to point someone in the direction of assistance and how to spot someone in need of assistance. Of which yearly viewings have been made mandatory.

Students can also go to the guidance office to talk to school counselors, who operate under different conditions than therapists.

“If we need to talk about grades, your classroom performance, if maybe you’re just not coming to school,” said Julie Fierce, Director of School Counseling at SHS. “There’s reasons you have to make phone calls home”

School counselors do keep personal information separate from school information. Meaning that a call home can keep personal information confidential while still making sure the student is being pushed to perform in school.

“I can call you down and want to talk to you about grades and call a parent about your grades but not talk about what you said in here,” Fierce said.

As another step taken by SHS to protect its population’s mental well-being, a counseling service named Adult and Child has been allocated office space in SHS which is used for students to have counseling sessions during the school day.

Students do require parent permission to see an Adult and Child therapist, as they are not employed by the school district and thus cannot talk to just anyone in the building.

All resources available to students are also available to teachers. Anyone in the building can talk to a counselor in the guidance office, and teachers can even theoretically talk to Adult and Child through their healthcare, but most, if any, don’t.

The phone number for teachers to reach counselors through SHS is 1-(800)-543-4158. Students can contact (317)-882-5122, or talk to a school counselor to set up an appointment with Adult and Child.

“This is a life thing for a lot of people,” Fierce said.