DOWNEY – Warren High School hosted an information session Dec. 8 for both parents and students on the topics of mental health and the resources available to them in Downey.
School psychologists from Downey, Warren and Columbus high schools teamed up to bring awareness to a topic that may seem minor but is a prevalent issue in schools, officials said.
Downey Unified’s Special Education Department also held a separate informative meeting on the same subjects on Dec. 9 at Downey High for all special needs families within the district.
This mental health initiative has been a concentrated effort by Downey Unified staff, officials said, with the slogan, “If you see something, say something.” Students are urged to speak up when they are aware that a friend or classmate is in need or danger.
At each educational level, the district is promoting a theme that teaches students “that it is critical they reach out for help if they need it, or if they know of a friend who needs it.”
The session held at Warren High focused on the common mental health concerns that adolescents face – including depression, anxiety, self-injurious behavior – and resources available for parents and students should do when they are confronted with these matters.
School psychologists assisted parents with ways in which they can help their children with these issues; they also used this time to inform students on how to handle these emotions when they are faced with them.
“We answered many questions for our parents and they left reassured that their student’s mental health needs are a priority in Downey Unified,” said Warren High psychologist Denise Evans.
Parents were also handed flyers that listed resources within the city of Downey that they could utilize if they, or their children, are facing mental health issues. Some of the resources included a psychiatric evaluation team and crisis contacts, as well as local mental health and counseling clinics.
“Downey Unified is committed to developing responsible and compassionate members of society,” stated superintendent Dr. John Garcia. “Providing a variety of resources for our parents and mental health support for our students is imperative so they can thrive in school.”
Parents or students with mental health concerns are urged to contact their school counselor or psychologist. Information is also available on Warren High’s website, dusd.net/warren, under the “Parent Resources” heading.
For more information on mental health resources within Downey Unified, call the Student Services Department or the Special Education Department at (562) 469-6500.