Mental Wellness

A new counselor brings a supportive source

Leily Zhu, Editor-in-Chief and Front Page Editor

Within MN, there is a vast number of adults  for students to go to for support: teachers, counselors, the school resource officer. Recently, MN moved to add one more person to that list with the specific responsibility of providing mental health support.

Wellness counselor Emily Jarman has the role of providing ongoing mental health therapy to students. She is employed by CRCC, a non-profit that is partnered with Millard schools.

“We’re here to provide mental health support to the school as a whole so the primary duty is going to be individual therapy with the students throughout the day,” Jarman said.

Though Jarman is employed by CRCC, she is located full-time at MN. Students can make appointments to meet her through the counseling office. After a referral process, in which parental permission is granted, the student can meet with her on a scheduled basis.

“The driving force is really to increase access to mental health services and recognizing that there’s a need. I think one of the main benefits of having somebody on site is that with a school this big, there’s bound to be many people that would benefit from mental health service,” Jarman said. “This allows them to not have to leave site, which could make it really difficult. It’s just reducing barriers to treatment.”

With school violence and the responses to the issue so fresh on the minds of our nation, the issue of mental health is a topic to be addressed.

“I think it [school violence] shines a light on the need for support within the schools and for people to be reaching out to those that maybe do see some signs of risk. It doesn’t mean there’s an increased need. The need has probably remained the same. Those tragedies just kind of get the spotlight back on the issue,” Jarman said.

While the issue of mental health is raised, it does not mean every violent incident is automatically connected to it.

“On the flip side, not all of those tragedies are because of mental illness so it’s a really touchy subject because it’s good to have awareness and to have people wanting to provide support to those that need it, but you also don’t want the stigma to get worse because people are thinking that people with mental illness are going to act out violently because that’s not accurate either,” Jarman said.

Having a wellness counselor located on the premises of school allows students who may be dealing with long-term mental health struggles, such as depression, to seek consistent support. A regular meeting can be scheduled, in a way that does not obstruct school schedules.

These meetings are confidential. They are set with the purpose to accomplish goals, review progress, and allow constant open communication.

“My hope is that people are able to get treatment and have it regularly and not face as many barriers. I’m sure there’s still many people that could benefit that haven’t heard of it or maybe aren’t quite comfortable so my goal is to normalize mental healthcare,” Jarman said.

Jarman can be found in the  labeled by the large blue sign with the words “Wellness Counselor” on it. All students have access to her support.