Why Socio-Emotional Counselors At Schools? Here are 8 Reasons

Posted in: Girls Leadership Network (GLN), Mental Health, Taking Action
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Since 2009, GHGH youth leaders have asked that schools better support the healthy emotional development of students as core to academic and life success and as an essential part of their mission.This includes having better access to social-emotional and mental health professionals on schools campuses as a critical part of our mission. Having more school-based non-academic counselors can make a HUGE DIFFERENCE in the success and wellbeing of students.

Here are just some of the impacts counselor services can have on students and schools:

  1. Increased attendance, better grade point average and a reduction of discipline referrals (1)
  2. Increased education expectations in high school students: With counselor intervention, high school students’ own educational expectations for themselves has been shown to increased over time (2)
  3. Students who have access to counseling programs reported being more positive and having greater feelings of belonging and safety in their schools (3)
  4. Counseling services support teachers in the classroom and enable teachers to provide quality instruction designed to assist students in achieving high standards (4)
  5. Studies on high school attrition indicate that preventive counseling, occurring before students are in crisis, reduces the risk of these students dropping out later (5)
  6. School counselors have proven effective in preventing students from committing suicide. The most effective prevention programs start with younger students and portray suicide as a mental health problem, not a dramatic way of ending a life. It is essential that counselors involve the parents of troubled students in the counseling process (6)
  7. School counselors are effective in reducing victimization by assisting victimized children, reducing bullying behaviors, and modifying the school climate and structure (7)
  8. Health and mental health care services can play an important role in violence prevention at all levels (primary, secondary and tertiary), including preventing problem behaviors from developing; identifying and serving specific, at-risk populations; and reducing the deleterious effects of violence on victims and witnesses (8)

What can be done to get this important resource to students in Monterey County?

We have already collected over 550 signatures and passed two youth-drafted County resolutions of support for the need of more social and emotional health resources for youth. However, there is still more to be done!  Please consider joining GHGH youth in working for a better future for all students in the county.

  • Join our letter-writing campaign! Write a letter of support to your local school district leaders. See a template here. You can send it directly to your Superintendent or send it to us at girlshealthgirlshands@gmail.com by March 31st, 2016
  • Attend a school board meeting and provide public comment in support! We will be presenting the letters collected from students, parents, staff, administrators and the community at large at 4 different districts in April 2016. We would love to have you join us! See our events calendar to know where and when.
  • Participate in your school’s LCAP Funding survey (found on your school’s website) and state your support for funding of more non-academic counselors
  • Follow us & keep in touch for action alerts on social media!

 

We have done so much with the help of community members, students, staff and parents! THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!!! We could not do any of it without your help.

We also want to thank the Monterey County Board of Supervisors (with a special shout out to Supervisor Jane Parker and Supervisor Simon Salinas) and to the Monterey County Board of Education (with a special shout out to Boardmember Deneen Guss) for their support in helping adopt GHGH’s resolutions for prioritizing social & emotional health resources.back-to-school-IngramPublishing

References:

(1)Myrick, R.D. & Sorensen, D.L. (1992). Helping skills for middle school students. Minneapolis, MN: Educational Media Corporation.

(2) Mau, W.C., Hitchcock, R., & Calvert, C. (1998). High school students’ career plans: The influence of others’ expectations. Professional School Counseling, 2:2, 161-166.

(3) Lapan, R.T., Gysbers, N.C., & Sun, Y. (1997). The impact of more fully implemented guidance programs on the school experiences of high school students: A statewide evaluation study. Journal of Counseling & Development, 75, 292-302.

(4) Lapan, R.T., Gysbers, N.C., & Sun, Y. (1997). The impact of more fully implemented guidance programs on the school experiences of high school students: A statewide evaluation study. Journal of Counseling & Development, 75, 292-302.

(5)Bearden, L.J., Spencer, W.A., & Moracco, J.C. (1989). A study of high school dropouts. The School Counselor, 27, 113-120. Morey, R.E., Miller, C.D., Fulton, R., & Rosen, L.A. (1993). High school peer counseling: The relationship between student satisfaction and peer counselors’ style of helping, The School Counselor, 40, 293-300. Praport, H. (1993). Reducing high school attrition: Group counseling can help. School Counselor, 40(4), 309-311. Wirth-Bond, S., Coyne, A., & Adams, M. (1991). A school counseling program that reduces dropout rates. The School Counselor, 39, 131-137.

(6)Jones, R. (2001). Suicide Watch: What can you do to stop children from killing themselves? American School Board Journal, May, 16-21.

(7) Hanish, L.D. & Guerra, N.G. (2000). Children who get victimized at school: What is known? What can be done?Professional School Counseling, 4, 113-119.

(8) Youth and Violence. Commission for the Prevention of Youth Violence, December 2000.

(9) Bearden, L.J., Spencer, W.A., & Moracco, J.C. (1989). A study of high school dropouts. The School Counselor, 27, 113-120. Morey, R.E., Miller, C.D., Fulton, R., & Rosen, L.A. (1993). High school peer counseling: The relationship between student satisfaction and peer counselors’ style of helping, The School Counselor, 40, 293-300. Praport, H. (1993). Reducing high school attrition: Group counseling can help. School Counselor, 40(4), 309-311. Wirth-Bond, S., Coyne, A., & Adams, M. (1991). A school counseling program that reduces dropout rates. The School Counselor, 39, 131-13


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