Mental Health Progress at GHS

Makayla Hess, 1st Semester Staff

Over the course of the quarantine, many people, including many students, fell victim to difficulties with mental health.

Although the school board could do little last year due to distance, they have increased their efforts to give students the necessary materials to deal with the difficulties of a malnourished mental state, on both the high school and middle school levels. In previous years, they started mental health checks in freshman gym class. In the 2021-22 school year, mental health is a part of the 7th and 8th grade health curriculums. 

Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, the HopeSquad, which originated at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. This will  make Gloucester High School the first school in Virginia to join the program.

How the HopeSquad works is the guidance counselors will select 5-10 students per grade level that the student body has deemed as good listeners to go into training. The training is to further explain to the good listeners how they can help those around them. Training will start from October through the end of the first semester. 

After the initial training, it will be student-led with the guidance of advisors and the school counselors. They will come up with ideas and ways for the students to relieve their mental stress and participate in Hope Week. The Suicide Prevention Walk is November 13th at Main Street and open to everyone in Gloucester. 

Mr. Lord was very expressive when he advocated, “Students who want help, need to reach out.” Mental health has become a huge part of our school and our society, especially after the recent pandemic. 

The school board has taken extraordinary steps to better the student’s mental health, but it’s up to us as the students, to use the tools available.