Mental health support is not a one-size-fits-all model

Counselors. Co-located services. Upward Change. Anonymous reporting systems. 

Riverside has plenty of tools available to support students’ mental health. But if students don’t know what they are and how to use them, they will not be able to take advantage of them.

One of the best ways to get the help you need is through Riversides counselors. 

“Counselors are supposed to provide support in three domains: Social/emotional/personal, academic, and career,” said Riverside guidance Counselor Cathy Sebring. She and her colleagues – Portia Jacobs, Kira Hague, Deondra Jenkins, Valerie McCain and Courtney Higgins –  are here to do exactly that.

Photo courtesy of Cathy Sebring

According to Sebring, if students are struggling and need support teachers and counselors are the first line of defense. 

“[To get mental health support] students can either come to a counselor for assistance, or if teachers notice something is up with a student they will tell the counselor, who then will make an appointment for the student” Sebring said. 

Students can also make appointments with their counselor by going to the student services page on Riverside’s website and scheduling a time to meet with their counselor.

“The counselors job when meeting with a student for emotional support is to assess what is going on, be sympathetic and welcoming, and to figure out what needs to happen next for that student,” Sebring said.

If a student needs extra support besides what Riverside counselors can offer then they are able to meet with mental health therapists from a co-located service called Upward Change. “Upward change works collaboratively with Riverside,” said Riverside social worker Kisha Bardonille. 

Photo courtesy of Kisha Bardonille

The partnership provides therapy to students on-campus, off-site or via Zoom.

“Students can ask for a referral for support from co-located services from a counselor, admin, teacher, coach, or social worker confidentiality,” Bardonille said. 

Riverside’s student services department knows that mental health support is not a one-size-fits all model. That’s why there are many different tools available. In addition to meeting with counselors and working with co-located services and Upward Change, there are also hotlines and other anonymous systems that are available whenever students need support. 

“We are committed to supporting Riverside students and staff” said Bardonille. 

Editor’s note: Here is hotline information that the story references-

Crisis Line Hotline- 910-392-7408  (Provides 24 hour crisis and suicide intervention)

Kids in Crisis- (800) 510-9132  (For mental health/substance abuse)

Say something- 1-844-723-2729  (to anonymously report a concern to help others who are at risk of harming themselves or others) 

Source: Riverside High School first 10 days homeroom slides

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