The mindfulness behind Well Check Wednesdays

Gisell Ponce

Regardless of whether or not we’re in person, school can bring stress, worries and overwhelmingness. Spring Valley has taken measures to make sure students’ mental health remains positive during the pandemic with school-wide Well Check Wednesdays.

Well Check Wednesdays help to promote student wellness. Students must fill out a Google Form that is sent via email every Wednesday or provided by their third or fourth period teacher.

 The well check allows students to record their stress levels on a scale of one to five. One dictates calmness, and five dictates intense stress. Along with this, there’s a mindful question and words of advice to encourage reflection. 

“I think we’ve had some really good topics, whether it was starting your day off on a positive note or taking time to set up some goals,” said Michael Oliver, an assistant principal and administrator of the student success center. “It allows students that opportunity to check in and makes sure they do a quick index of themselves and say, ‘Alright, do I need any help and where can I find that?’”

Well Check Wednesdays provide statistics on student stress levels. It allows counselors to receive the information they need to promote positive behaviors, understand how to talk to students and decide what lessons to carry out. 

“We have about 2600 kids on campus,” John Tyler, the 11th-grade counselor, said. “We’re getting anywhere from 1300 to 1500 responses, so a lot of kids are responding to them. We want more. We hope every student fills it out.”

Counselors can contact students who need help through these well checks. Well checks help to identify specific needs on a week by week basis. 

Students who mark a five, suggesting that they’re  overwhelmed, are contacted within the same day of the well check’s completion. It helps to prioritize immediate needs, versus the steps that need to be taken for the majority of students. This is where lessons come into play. 

 “We’re doing very specific lessons on cognitive triangles— on how thoughts, feelings and actions affect each other,” Tyler said. “We are reaching out to kids more, that are reporting stress.” 

In terms of mental health, Tyler believes that Spring Valley is taking more significant initiatives than ever before. Students reported that they need outlets to talk, so Safe Space and Solutions was created. The group has students meet every Wednesday to destress and discuss different topics with peers. Home visits done by teachers also take place. 

During Wednesday faculty meetings, adjustments are made related to student mental health. Spring Valley wants to continue Well Check Wednesdays during in person school. 

“Every day, teachers should be checking in with their students and letting their students know there are adults on campus that they can reach out to,” Oliver said. 

 Everyone is collectively coping through these messy times, and faculty want students to know that they don’t need to deal with it on their own. Now’s an important time to know that there are people willing and ready to help.