Students in Walla Walla now have access to free therapy, and I think it’s great. I know I could have benefitted from therapy when I was in high-school. But back then, the popular “wisdom” of the day was that if something was bothering you, you should do one of three things:
- Get over it
- Snap out of it
- Don’t worry so much
Surprisingly, this advice was less than helpful. I’m convinced that therapy would have been a game-changer.
Where Does Walla Walla School District’s Free Therapy Come From?
The therapy for Walla Walla students comes from a group called Hazel. The service rolled out on September 19th to the following schools:
- BERNEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
- EDISON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
- GARRISON MIDDLE SCHOOL
- GREEN PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
- OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM
- PIONEER MIDDLE SCHOOL
- PROSPECT POINT ELEMENTARY SCHO
- SHARPSTEIN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
- WALLA WALLA HIGH SCHOOL
- WALLA WALLA ONLINE
When Can a Walla Walla Student Go to Therapy?
Students have the option to go to therapy, virtually, at home or during school hours. The idea is to have the service there for them when they need it, not at the first available appointment, which could be three weeks later.
Wait… How Much Does Therapy Cost?
Did I mention the service is free? This is incredible. Because therapy is expensive. It can cost anywhere from $75 to $150 an hour. That price tag can be a deterrent to a lot of people who could really use the help. So please, parents, encourage your kids to take advantage of this mental health freebie.
Why Do Young People Need Therapy?
I’ve heard some adults say, “Anxious? What does a kid have to be anxious about?” It’s a rhetorical question. They’re making fun of the idea that a young person’s life is anything less than carefree.
But it’s a good question. What do young people have to be anxious about?
Off the top of my head, I’d say:
- The Pandemic
- The ever-present possibility of school shootings
- The increasing threat of nuclear war
And this is on top of what teens have gone through forever:
- Social anxiety
- Their changing physical appearance
- Embarrassment/shame because of acne and other skin conditions
- Low self-esteem
- Not fitting in
- Relationship issues
- Broken hearts
- Social-class disparities
- Parents divorce
A better question might be, “how could a young person NOT have anxiety and/or depression?”
So a thousand handclap emojis to the Walla Walla school district for recognizing the importance of their students mental health. And for doing something about it.
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