Fostering Wellness Through Increased Access to Counseling

The current strategic plan of the school has five strands, one of which is “Foster a Culture of Wellness.” As a student-centered institution, Annie Wright Schools believe learning is best achieved by tending to the whole child. Wellness programming must be intentionally woven into all aspects of the student experience, ensuring AWS students come to school ready to play and explore, achieve and contribute. While student wellness is paramount, the school also recognizes the importance of its employees’ health. Adults cannot effectively tend to students when they themselves suffer from mental, physical, or emotional distress. A strong AWS community is a healthy AWS community.
This work is critical, and the school is taking important action. We now have a full-time counselor at each of our three divisions (LS, MS, and US). We also have a part-time counselor in the boarding department. The mental health challenges faced by students across the country have been well-documented, and students in our community have not been immune. By adding critical resources internally, we have built mental health programming that is proactive and reactive.

While this programming is proving effective, we have continued to watch families be stymied by long wait times for counseling appointments. Students often need support immediately, not in six weeks. To remedy this, we took an unprecedented step and formalized an agreement with 253 Therapy. In this agreement, we have reserved one 50-minute counseling appointment every day of the school week for an AWS community member. If an AWS student needs access to a counselor, we can now ensure they have it. Between increased counselors on staff and ready access to outside counseling, we are working to intentionally and effectively support the mental health of the Annie Wright community.

Read more about our Health & Wellness programs and meet our 4 counselors here!