In life, there exist a select number of inevitabilities we as humans must each face. One of these inevitabilities is the feeling of stress, to any varying degree, in our four years of high school. We students must balance hefty amounts of schoolwork and studying with extracurriculars, clubs, volunteer work, jobs and social events. All of this occurs with the ominous clouds of college constantly looming overhead.
These are some unfortunate truths, but one would be mistaken in assuming they are alone in their struggles. Nearly every student experiences some form of stress or anxiety at some point during high school. Thankfully, we have two counselors as part of Dana’s faculty that can help with these sorts of issues: Mrs. Bovee and Mrs. Zides. Mrs. Bovee has been at Dana for six years, while Mrs. Zides has been here for four years.
Presented with a variety of student’s problems, they aim to provide “the different resources offered inside and outside of school to help get [students] what they need to be successful.”
When asked what exactly they offer students at Dana, Bovee said they offer “short term solution focussed counseling,” not to be confused with “long term therapeutic counseling.” Presented with a variety of student’s problems, they aim to provide “the different resources offered inside and outside of school to help get [students] what they need to be successful.” Bovee said.
They are quite separate from our Academic Advisors, who assist students primarily with schedules and grades. As Zides put it, “the distinction is that your academic advisors advise you on your academics … we’re the social/emotional side.” In addition, they offer conflict mediation, crisis counseling and academic intervention.
It is easy to find help regarding a schedule change or grade improvement, and though it may seem more difficult to seek emotional support, as one may not even be sure what the cause of their problem is. In reality, it is quite easy to set up a time to see our counselors. Both Bovee and Zides had the same answer when I asked what the best way to reach them was; the counseling referral form. This form can be found on the Dana Hills High School website after navigating to the Counselor’s Corner page. A student may also request that a teacher provide them with one.
Following the referral form, the student will be contacted via “email or a google voice text message to set up a time to talk.” Conversations are kept confidential so long as the student is not being physically harmed, and they will not physically harm someone else or themself.
A statistic provided to me by Mrs. Bovee herself shows a 47% increase in counseling referral forms related to mental health issues. She stated that there were “big trends towards an increase in anxiety and depression in the last two years,” and that “it was already a trend before covid was happening.”
My question after seeing this data was of course, what did they think was causing this increase? Zides responded that she “[doesn’t] think there’s one answer.” Rather, it’s a combination of circumstances beyond the scope of Dana itself. In regards to the overall increase of referral forms they have received, both counselors believe that it can be attributed to the fact that emotional issues are “becoming something that people are feeling more comfortable talking about,” Zides said.
Each of our counselors are here because they share a mutual love of being able to provide students with a safe space where they may discuss their problems in order to find effective solutions. They are motivated by the sensation of giving students the healing and hope that they might not receive elsewhere. The Dolphin community is extremely appreciative of Mrs. Bovee and Mrs. Zides and all they do!
If you or someone you know could benefit from Mrs. Bovee or Mrs. Zides click here for a counseling referral form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeYSEZfuNk5iWjmENahh_rJw8dT_MU1HyUdQNpFPj4eBXuDjg/viewform
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