Jul. 22—HEUVELTON — This summer, all Heuvelton Central School students will have someone to talk to about their mental health if the need arises.
Gizelle Bullock, a licensed mental health counselor at Heuvelton, will be on hand to provide counseling sessions, give information or assist students as they go through summer vacation.
"I am glad we have the resources to be able to do it," said Heuvelton Superintendent Jesse Coburn, "If one student is struggling and we are able to help them, it's a win."
Bullock said that Heuvelton works hard to establish and maintain strong relationships with its students and that can't end with the final bell in June.
"Our relationships, along with the understanding of how mental health affects the whole child, gives us a sense of responsibility to continue meeting the needs of our students throughout the summer months," said Bullock, "Our hope for each student is to produce academic excellence, character building and healthy beings. Mental health counseling service is just one of the ways we are working to reach our goals."
Mental health counseling can help students struggling with anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, self-harm behaviors, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, phobias and life events such as grief and loss, anger management, relationships and family difficulties, according to Bullock.
Extending mental health services over the summer can help students impacted over the past school year by changes and restrictions mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the mental health counselor.
"Throughout this past school year we have experienced continuous change, limited time in school, shorter sport seasons, less opportunity for socialization and more student isolation. These have produced negative effects in adjustment for many students. On-going mental health support is best to aid in returning to healthy functioning," she said.
The past school year has shown school officials an increase of anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders, self-esteem concerns and gender identity concerns, according to Bullock.
"Academically, students had a very difficult time managing the responsibility of work and scheduling while outside of school. Working from home proved to be incredibly challenging for the majority of our students," she said.
For additional information, assistance, or to schedule counseling sessions, please contact Bullock at 315-344-2414, ext. 28852 or by email at email@example.com. In the case of an emergency, please call 911 or Reachout, a crisis and information helpline, open 24 hour a day at 315-265-2422.