Counseling office offers mental health resources

In times of mental struggles, the high school guidance office is the headquarters in finding resources to address individual needs.

School counselor Susan Langan said, “I would say probably 60-70 percent of the students that we see every month … might even be higher than that, a lot of students have mental health issues.” 

She attributes some of the blame to the recent pandemic.  “Mostly it’s been an increase in anxiety I think since COVID has been pretty big. That’s a nation-wide issue that anxiety has gone up. Then a lot of depression kind of goes along with the anxiety, that kinda comes from COVID too. There’s also different types of anxiety that go along with eating disorders. We also deal with students with suicidal tendencies and need to work with them as well.” 

She said it’s important to keep close connections to students struggling with mental health issues. “So we are all able to work with students, identifying mental health issues. We can check in and give some interventions and mindfulness techniques. The main intervention is that we can refer to Black Hawk Grundy Mental Health. We have two mental health counselors that come to the high school and work individually with students. We also have Pathways come once a week, with students who struggle with substance abuse. There are also students who use our office for their virtual mental health counseling appointments.” 

Langan said her heart goes out to each student who is struggling. “Well, I am trained to listen and try to figure out what’s going on. It’s always difficult knowing that that person is probably struggling you know with some issues, but I’m trained to help them and give them options, interventions or call and get parents involved. Sometimes it’s not easy, sometimes it’s harder than others. We try to keep our emotions out of it.”

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