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A Holistic Approach to Student Wellness

By Lindsey Ervin, M.S.Lindsey Ervin

When I first began my career in education, I was teaching history in Southern California. While teaching, I knew that the lives and well-being of students were a large part of the calling God had placed on my life. Now, after many years working as a mental health professional and counselor in school settings, there are a few things that I believe whole-heartedly about our students today.

The well-being of our students is the foundation for their learning, growth and future success. When students are well socially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically, and relationally, they are better able to thrive in the classroom and excel in their endeavors. We know healthy connection is the key to our individual and collective wellness as a community. When our students are connected in a healthy way to themselves, their families, friends, and to God, they are more resilient and able to thrive.

Our kids are living in very challenging times. Our goal is to equip our community with tools and resources that support wellness in body, mind and spirt, and to help students better navigate challenges. Ultimately, our desire is for our students to experience a sense of wholeness as they experience Christ’s love and freedom in every aspect of their lives.

A Space for Health and Wellness

With that in mind, we are excited to introduce our new space – The Well. The Well is the place where God sees us (Genesis 16:13-14), cares for us, and provides His Living Water that satisfies and sustains us (John 4:13). We deeply care and desire for each one of our students to know they are seen, cared for and that their lives indeed matter. 

At Valor, this looks like:

  • A department dedicated to the well-being of our students

  • Social/emotional and mental health resources

  • Community partnerships with counselors and other providers that enhance our wellness as a community

  • A beautiful new space designed to support students and families desiring social/emotional/mental health support services

If you have questions about The Well or any other mental health resources, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

Equipping to Connect

This year student wellness will focus on helping students connect and identify their sources of strength. We will train peer leaders who can come alongside and empower each other to engage in life giving activities which promote overall wellness. Part of this effort will include school wide suicide prevention. Our goal is to increase help-seeking behaviors and break down the stigma of mental health.

According to NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness), one in five youth are struggling with a mental health disorder. That’s potentially 20% of our student body. It’s important to know you don’t have to become an expert in mental health to help keep students safe. There are some very basic, simple steps that can be life saving. QPR, or Question, Persuade, Refer, suicide prevention training will help our entire community feel more prepared to help someone struggling with thoughts of suicide.

I hope you can join us for two upcoming QPR training sessions just for parents. Each session will take place from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Upper Lobby. Freshman and sophomore parents are invited to attend on Tuesday, September 17, while junior and senior parents can attend the same session on Thursday, September 19. Look for more information later this fall about when students will also receive QPR training. 

Thank you for your partnership. We are here for you this year and look forward to all of the events and activities designed to support you.

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