Prioritizing Mental Health


Molly Mullen, Staff Reporter

This year, HT is taking a new approach to mental health and wellness. At least once a month, mental wellness days will be implemented in place of chapel. During mental wellness days,  teachers will open up their classrooms and offer students a period of solitude, fun, and much more. Sessions will be around 20 minutes and will offer students a time to check in with themselves and wind down during busy school days. 

Students will be able to have a period of fun or solitude. “It’s not going to be a free-for-all, but hopefully people will enjoy it,” said Kari Ramos, the sponsor of the Mental Health Awareness Club and the Director of Counseling. 

“I was blown away by the teachers’ ideas and excitement for the campaign,” Ramos said. 

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly clear that people have been struggling with their mental health. Not only because of the fear of germs and what may come from the illness, but also because of fear of constantly seeing people face to face again. 

“First of all, it’s being recognized that students are struggling more and more. Last year, it was very apparent that we needed to be more proactive than responsive and reactive, but it’s hard to get to that place when you’re in the middle of it,” said Ramos. So, administration approached Ramos to help create the Just Be campaign.“I was thinking, how can I do better? How can I get out of the individual crisis type conversations and do more to be proactive?’” 

Ramos has been working with Live Well Behavioral Health, a network of licensed counselors, to create support groups for students, parents, and faculty. Speakers will become regularly incorporated into chapel to help boost student morale as well. 

“Peer Support Processing Groups, a form of group counciling, will be with a licensed counciler in six week groups. You have to sign up and get permission from a parent to participate.”

The schedule for the six weeks will go as follows: week one- period one, week two- period two, and so on and so forth, except for fourth period. “We feel that with the scheduling being during the school day, that students would be more likely to participate. Especially with people’s busy schedules.” Each month will mean a new focus on wellness. For example, September is National Suicide Prevention Month, so the slogan is “Be the One.”