GREEN RIVER — Earlier this year, Sweetwater County School District (SCSD) No. 2 dedicated a portion of its Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds towards supporting staff, students, and families on emotional and mental needs.
During the SCSD No. 2 Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night, Assistant Superintendent Alan Demaret said the district has initiated several programs to support mental health needs. One of these programs includes the School-Based Wellness Therapy program.
This program includes two counselors who are available to meet with students, staff, and families. The counselors are located at the Western Wyoming Community College Green River building.
“Our two school-based wellness counselors are mental health professionals who work with students, school personnel, and families to assist with individual social and emotional needs, remove social and emotional barriers to student learning, link students and families with community resources, and support overall student achievement,” Demaret said.
In addition to individual counseling sessions, Demaret said that student cope groups will begin shortly at Green River High School (GRHS) and Lincoln Middle School (LMS).
“The cope programs are based on a cognitive behavioral therapy-based skills-building approach that includes reducing negative or unhelpful thoughts, increasing healthy behaviors, and improving communication and problem-solving skills,” he said.
According to Demaret, the district has had 20 different clients in this program as of early September.
Other Programs and Resources
Demaret said the district also has a program called School Pulse, which provides a proactive versus reactive approach to students’ emotional wellbeing.
With this program, students are able to anonymously check in with a School Pulse counselor when school personnel is not available or if they don’t want anyone to know about their current situation or emotional status. All students have to do is scan a QR code and a School Pulse counselor will text them.
Serious situations, however, will be reported to school personnel for follow up and timely action.
Care Solace is another program the district is using, which provides support to students, families, and staff with matching them to verified local or non-local service providers and securing appointments regardless of insurance status. It acts as a liaison for students, staff, and families to connect them to necessary services.
The district has also started doing Mindfulness Wednesdays, in which Jen Brown, SCSD No. 2 staff member and local yoga instructor, provides a classroom tip of the week for teachers to use in their classroom. The tips revolve around strategies for stress relief and management.
Additionally, teachers can sign up for the Healthy Teacher Online Platform, which is a health and fitness platform for staff members. Demaret said 162 staff members have signed up. Lastly, the district now has hall monitors at GRHS and LMS who focus on connecting with students and ensuring students are following behavioral expectations.