Rebound: School counselors reaching out to students about mental health

West Oso counseling services meet student needs
Posted at 7:21 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 20:38:29-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Here at KRIS 6 News, we continue to stay committed to finding resources in helping to manage the pressure. The month of May is considered mental-health awareness month. Many students are finishing up their high-school careers as the 2020-2021 school year comes to an end, which already is a difficult task when there's not a global pandemic occurring.

Because there is, however, school counselors had to really make their presence available to their students.

“I get a little bit distracted, being at home, and a little too comfortable, probably," said West Oso High School senior Ta’Leigha Johnson. "So that was an adjustment as well.”

Johnson said she’s a visual learner, but because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she had to adjust how to learning remotely instead of in-person learning.

“It was a little difficult mentally because I had the goal of being the salutatorian, and so I was like, 'This is my senior year. This can make or break my chances,” Johnson said.

She said the pressure was on, but she wasn’t alone.

Counselor Michelle Powell said the school's counseling staff has seen an uptick in students needing services.

With the ongoing pandemic, Powell said students needed help with depression and anxiety.

“They have so much that they’re thinking about other than just grades and attendance, and they’re having everything to deal with with the pandemic as far as COVID and helping out their families and things like that,” she said.

However, the young salutatorian said she found ways to stay motivated mentally.

“I would just have to take little mental breaks," she said. "I would go to the park with my friends. We would paint or have little picnics.”

West Oso High School has what’s called “power hour,” where students can meet with counselors during lunch and discuss what all is going on mentally, along with what students want to pursue in the future.

“And our students, you know, keep pushing forward no matter what," Powell said. "One day at a time, you can do it."