As a school counselor, it’s my job to help students who are struggling–academically or personally–as well as guide them through the college application process. Doing that with the added pressure of a pandemic presented a very different kind of challenge that required a very different kind of solution.
When this all started, the most immediate concern for school counselors like myself was dealing with an increased number of students who were feeling stressed, anxious, or even depressed. In a normal year, my students could sit down with me and discuss whatever was on their mind. But in the absence of physical proximity and with an influx of students seeking mental health support on top of school-related challenges, one-on-one counseling sessions became incredibly difficult to schedule.
I offered virtual office hours as a short-term solution, but then I started thinking about longer-term solutions that would actually benefit my students even more–solutions that would prepare students to help themselves when one-on-one counseling may not be as readily available to them.
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