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CVUSD opens wellness centers now to help students with mental health

Students in our area are getting more than academic support as they head back to school.

"I've actually had a few people asked me to check on you. And most of those people were teachers. And she just broke down in tears. You could tell at that moment that she realized she wasn't alone," said Jason Tate, CVUSD's wellness center specialist

Coachella Valley High School is using its wellness center to equip its students with different exercises and tools to manage their mental health.

"We think of school, we think of getting grades and doing well in class preparing for college. But why is it so important to also invest in these students' mental health?" News Channel 3's Bianca Ventura asked Tate.

Tate responded, “Because we're not robots, right? You know, everyone comes to school with a backpack, but they really were two backpacks. One of them is all the emotional baggage of their life, what's happening at home, what's happening in their community."

Tate uses tools like sound bowls, aroma therapy, and breathing exercises at CVHS’ wellness center.

“It really does help to break down some of those walls so that they can start to open up and talk about what's going on," Tate said.

And the work doesn’t stop here. The wellness center works with other departments to support their students and refer them to different resources.

"We have substance abuse counselors, and we have actual therapists from latino commission, the nurse's office, and campus safety all play a major role. So we actually all are coming together, kind of under one roof of this intervention team,” Tate said.

Lisette Santiago, CVUSD's community engagement manager. said the wellness centers were requested on behalf of students and their families.

“But we have seven wellness centers in our school district. That’s a big impact for our students, our staff, and our community,” Santiago said.

Santiago also shares that CVUSD has a population that’s made up of about 98 percent latino and hispanic students.

She hopes these wellness centers will help remove the stigma for seeking mental health help.

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Article Topic Follows: Education
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Bianca Ventura

Bianca Ventura joined KESQ News Channel 3 as a reporter in February 2022.
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