Ne­shaminy needs tr RETHINN staffing of Sanc­tu­ary Room

The Advance of Bucks County - - OPINION -

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

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