Mental Health Course Introduced to FHS

New lessons allow students to train in mental health care and spot certain red flags among their peers.

Students receive certificates after completeing the mental health course.

photo provided by Julie Kirk

Students receive certificates after completeing the mental health course.

Hannah Newton, Staff Reporter

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In late June, the Mental Health Association teamed up with FHS to provide teen mental health classes. Students learn what mental health is, what it includes, and symptoms of various mental illnesses.

This county was “supposedly” chosen because of the previous advances made in adult mental health, with over 1000 personnel trained in mental health care, as noted by Heather Harris, school counselor. The MHA sent a grant to train teachers in Fauquier County so that they can instruct the class. Guidance counselors Julie Kirk, Heather Harris and Johanna Scott have been instructed, and, as a group, they teach the class.

The course is mandatory for sophomores to take. The time for the class comes out of the student’s gym period and lasts a total of three classes. One of the students who has taken the class, sophomore Mason Worst, thought that it was “fabulous” and he likes how Kirk was “there for [him].”

Only 35 areas were chosen to teach this program, with Fauquier being one of them. So far, the FHS counselors have trained six sets of students, with the remaining six set to be taught during the spring semester. Students who have already taken the program will be given a post-test to gauge the effectiveness of the course. E-mails have been sent out to parents requesting this test to be given since it is for research purposes only.

“The biggest focus of the program is giving kids guidelines on how to help their friends” Kirk summarizes the course.