Caring For Your Mental Health

Middle and Upper School Counselors Form Committee to Address Mental Health Issues

The Mental Health Committee has already helped many people though this is only the second year of it being active. Upper School Counselor Tamara Addis and Middle School Counselor Denise Thornton created the committee to ensure that students feel comfortable if they need to seek help.

Ms. Addis believed that we needed to have a Youth Committee to help those who have mental health challenges. “I decided to become a counselor because I enjoy helping people see things from different perspectives,” said Ms. Addis. She has always wanted to give help or advice to those in need. It is extremely important to admit that you need help so you can be treated accordingly. “It is important, when facing any kind of issue, that one looks at it from all perspectives to gain the most awareness of the situation before trying to tackle it head on,” said Ms. Addis. She does this so that those who are struggling know they aren’t alone and can get better. The Mental Health Committee is here to focus on collaborating with students to allow them to define mental health challenges impacting their friends and to brainstorm ideas for improving student mental health at PCA.

“Toilet Talk,” a series of flyers addressing teen social issues, was utilized last year on the school restroom walls. “Sometimes I read the ‘Toilet Talk’ because my eye immediately goes towards the front of the stall and they are actually very interesting,” said Senior Heaven Pace. Most everyone sees the ”Toilet Talk” and reads it. Heaven also said, “Mental health is very serious for teenagers because we have so much on our plate.” Teens struggle with trying to live up to the image of what society creates. Even students in Middle School can be going through a trial in their life without feeling they can get help.

Guidance Counselor Denise Thornton has also played a major role in the Mental Health Committee. She enjoys being the Middle School counselor. Mrs. Thornton said, “The Lord put it on my heart early on to desire to hear people’s stories and walk with them through their pain.” Mental health became significant to her when she became a camp counselor. When she heard the stories of her students, it changed her perspective and made her feel the need to pray with them and think through what might be helpful. She said, ”Mental health is important because it can be the root for decisions on how we navigate through life.” Mental health counseling is critical for teens and needs to be in every school for those who are struggling so that they can get the help they need and deserve.”

Mental health is relevant to all; at some point, most people have either struggled with mental health or known someone who has struggled. The Mental Health Committee is meant for students who do struggle and are seeking help. At times mental health can be overlooked; but as long as we have the Mental Health Committee, students who need help can utilize this resource to find hope and healing.