In-School Mental Health Resources


Mack Jackson, Layout Editor

As one of the lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is undergoing a mental health crisis, and Waterford High School is certainly no stranger to this. As the school transitions away from the distance learning format from last year, some students are struggling to readjust to in-person learning in a post-pandemic setting. In response, new resources have been made available to students struggling not only academically but mentally. In addition, to the four guidance counselors, the school has two social workers: Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Dulin. Additionally, the school has two psychologists on site: Ms. Tobin and Mrs. Marceau. 

For those in search or in need of a resource that is not directly connected to the school, and some more intensive mental health needs, Effective School Solutions, or ESS counselors are available. Mrs. White claimed that other students have found positive social and academic outcomes after meeting with one of these counselors. ESS counseling offers a more therapeutic environment for students to seek mental health counseling during the school day.

If a student were to seek any of these resources during the school day, Mrs. White stated that the information given would only be shared with parents, if they believe it would be beneficial for the student and wouldn’t put them in danger at home, or if the student is believed to be a threat to themselves or those around them.

Physical health impacts not only a person’s body but their mental health as well. To support this, Waterford High School and Clark Lane Middle School partnered with United Community & Family Services (UCFS) Healthcare to open in-school health clinics at the start of this school year. Mark Robel, a pediatric APRN is one of the healthcare workers in the office. Each school site is staffed with a nurse practitioner, a medical assistant, and a behavioral health professional all of whom do not work for the school. 

The UCFS health service is located within the original nurse’s office. For students to be seen, a parent must sign them up electronically on and search for School-Based Health Centers. Typically, students would see the nurse first, then it is decided if they should be seen by the clinic as well.

Many students who may be confused about the purpose of the UCFS clinic should know that the health clinic is a completely separate entity within the school. The clinic does not replace a primary health physician, but the UCFS workers can do anything a normal doctor could do. The UCFS clinic is there to support the school and families of the WHS community. The hope is that it can eliminate parents having to leave work to bring their child to their doctor’s office causing them to miss work and their child to miss learning at school. 

To support both these mental and physical health services, WHS has increased the academic support available to students. Each English and math class has an equivalent “link” block as a time for students to receive additional help in these subjects. Lastly, the tutoring center is staffed by two full-time tutors during blocks 3-5 where students can either be placed or attend voluntarily for extra classwork and homework help or credit recovery.