Neshaminy needs tr RETHINN staffing of Sanctuary Room
School. Work. Relationship problems. These are just some of the stresses that impact a teenager’s life every day. With so much going on in life, students can become overwhelmed. There are so many other things going on in their lives that can make them unstable. bven something physical such as a chemical imbalance can cause depression.
Neshaminy High School once had a tool that was used to help students with mental health issues, or students who needed guidance. This was the Sanctuary Room, a peaceful, quiet place where students in crisis could go to speak with a counselor if they were feeling down or overwhelmed. The room is no longer staffed due to budget cuts.
The Sanctuary Room was created in 2MMS as part of the aistrict Strategic Action Plan by a committee of administrators, staff, teachers and community members. It was a program which was considered very important and over ANMM,MMM were allocated in the plan towards the project that year alone. The Sanctuary Room was created in response to several suicides that occurred in the 2MM4 and 2MM5 school years.
After only six years, however, the plan was set to expire, and due to budget restraints, the Sanctuary Room fell out of existence, along with several guidance counselors and social worker positions. With less resources, the guidance department cannot help students going through trouble as much as they would’ve been able to just two years ago.
ves, the district needs to take measures to save money. However, the Sanctuary Room is an important part of student health. The mental and emotional well-being of Neshaminy students should not be a nickels and dimes issue. Neshaminy’s abilty to help those with emotional and psychological problems will be inadequate until the Sanctuary Room counselor is reinstated.
Another great feature this school has been missing in recent years is a suicide prevention or awareness program. A few years ago Neshaminy used to have a Suicide Awareness Week, called vellow Ribbon Week. The event, sponsored by the Students Against aestructive aecisions club, included an assembly and many activities throughout the week to help spread awareness.
While students are taught about suicide warning signs and prevention in health class, the school must take a more direct, active role in preventing it. Something like a Suicide Prevention Week or vellow Ribbon Program would help greatly.
The entire Neshaminy community, Guidance and the Student Assistance Program especially, did a great job in reacting to and responding to the recent tragedies here at Neshaminy High School, but a more permanent and proactive fixture is necessary. It is time for the school to bring back Suicide Prevention programs, and most importantly a full-time counselor to staff the Sanctuary Room.
Jackson Haines Playwickian Op-bd bditor Neshaminy High School Sophomore