In an effort to curb the rising rates of anxiety and to promote mental wellness among students, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District has announced that it will be opening its first wellness centers, at two local high schools, at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.
Set to open at California High School and Dougherty Valley High School, the purpose of the wellness centers is to provide students with an additional safe space where they can go during the school day to receive support or even just to take a break when they feel pressure or stress, according to district officials.
The centers will be staffed with counselors and social workers, with additional resources to be provided based off the needs of each individual site, officials said.
“The SRVUSD has made student mental wellness a priority,” district officials said in a statement. “As part of a multi-tiered system of support, the Wellness Centers are another way that we can focus on and nurture positive social emotional learning for all students.”
According to the Pew Research Center, rates of anxiety and depression are on the rise among America’s students, with a study conducted in February 2019 indicating that 70% of teens reporting that anxiety and depression is a “major problem” among their peers.
District officials say that ensuring mental wellness among students is a top priority, stating that based off of input from community stakeholders, Wellness Centers were specifically identified as a priority in the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan. Further stating that Wellness Centers were “one of five recommendations” made by the district’s Mental Wellness Task Force.
“The SRVUSD Leadership Priorities emphasize the importance of student wellness as an essential component of overall student success,” officials added.