The Wellness Center at Hopkins High School hosted an open house event on Jan. 26 complete with stress-relieving activities, a trail mix bar and live music. High school students enjoyed a snack, painted mandala patterns on stones, and created buttons. Hopkins therapy dog, Bea, was also a crowd favorite at the event.
The open house was planned by three student groups including Mental Health Matters, Change to Chill, and the peer helpers group.
The Wellness Center officially opened last year, starting out as an after-school program. However, many students were unable to utilize services due to extra curriculars, transportation, homework help, an after school job, or something else. To be more student-centered and to remove barriers, this year services are being offered during the school day.
Students can make Individual Wellness Center appointments with social workers, counselors and psychologists during the school day. Additional activities have started to be held during school hours like the Change to Chill group’s “tea and discussion” event. Other meetings and activities are held at various times as well.
Hopkins High School social worker Kelly Richey said the Wellness Center is a huge benefit for students, particularly the focus on mental well being.The space allows students to take the time to re-center themselves if they are in the midst of a stressful day so that they can go back to class with focus on their education.
“If what we want them to do is focus on their education and a lot of kids are still worried about what is going on outside of school and we can help ease that worry just a little bit, then it makes it worth it,” Richey said.