Connected Community Wellness Screen provides emotional wellness check-ups for youth right at school.
For information on Connected Community Wellness Screen, please email Samaritan Counseling Center Wellness Screen program director Jen Parsons.
This true story comes from a Wellness Screen team member who served a school within Outagamie County.
I had a student last school year who participated in the Wellness Screen program. Through the screening, the student presented symptoms of depression and anxiety, along with passive suicidal ideation (hopeless thoughts about ending his/her life) and homicidal ideation (thoughts about ending the life of someone else).
The parents had signed this student up for the screening because “it’s like pulling teeth to get any information from him/her.” At home, this student was very closed. This student experienced bullying throughout the middle school years and was really struggling with being excluded socially and fitting in at high school.
In addition, this student had received a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder in elementary school and was currently taking medication to help ease these symptoms. The student’s grades were still not where the family wanted them to be. This case was an opportunity to involve the school counselor and outline the support systems for attention related difficulties available in the school.
Mom was very aware of the attention related struggles and the bullying history, but not the passive suicidal or homicidal ideation. Mom was in agreement with the Wellness Screen program that her student needed additional support both inside and outside of school. Mom attended a meeting with the school counselor and made an appointment for further evaluation with a local community mental health care provider.
Throughout the Wellness Screen process, the program uncovered and communicated concerns that had not been previously identified. It gave this student a safe, non-judgmental place to discuss thoughts and emotions being experienced.
As a result, the Wellness Screen program was able to surround this student with family support, additional school support, and outside community mental health support.
It is important for students to have a place to check in on their current emotional health, to identify what is going well and to communicate what is not working for them. It is in this Wellness Screen program and process that we are able to intervene as a preventive measure at the onset of symptoms long before they have grown into a more serious mental health condition or concern. This changed a young student’s path and taught him/her they never have to walk alone. There is always hope and help available.
-Wellness Screen Team Member