Establishing a DB respite

Ingrid Chan, Staff Writer

In the planning stages since September 2014, the Diamond Bar High School Wellness Center is about to officially open.

As a resource for struggling students to rely on, the Wellness Center will be promoting its usefulness by having a school-wide fair on Friday.

“It has become abundantly clear to not only myself as the peer counseling advisor, but also to the counseling staff and GLCs that we need an extra layer of support for our kids, and that we have kids who are really stressed out because of academic pressure,” current Peer Counseling adviser Sandy Davis said.

The center is located in room 254 and will offer several activities and tools to help students deal with stress including advice, anxiety relief, yoga, and guided meditation.

Trained student consultants are available to give others strategies on how to deal with their problems, and an adult counseling staff is accessible for individuals troubled with more serious issues.

The student wellness interns will utilize what they have learned over the past two years to help fellow schoolmates with whatever difficulties they may have.

“There is a wellness internship,  something students can actually sign up for as a elective.   The requirement is that you need to have at least one to two years of peer counseling training.  If someone’s interested in going into psychology, social work, or therapy, this would be a great opportunity,” Davis said.

The center will be open every school day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will always have a wellness consultant on hand to attend to the needs of students.

The consultants of the Wellness Center will walk students through steps on how to solve their problems as well as provide strategies for anything that a student may be troubled with.

Exercises to help students deal with stress and time management will also be made available at the opening.

The goal of the center is to teach students how to develop social skills and ways to cope with everyday problems.

The idea of such a place was proposed to former Principal Catherine Real over a year ago, and was then resubmitted after her approval because it had to then be approved by the district.

Administrators have been very supportive of the project, and approval from the school district was granted last May.

“I have a three year plan, so I have a lot of goals.  I’m working on getting us a therapy dog, I will be available for speaking and helping in classrooms, and I’m working on getting us support groups — potential partners being Kaiser Permanente, Valenta Clinics, and Pacific Clinics.  So it’s going to be pretty awesome, and I hope that students will really embrace it and be proactive,” Davis said.

Davis has conducted research over the summer by visiting Piedmont High School in Northern California.

The facility there had a staff of 10 people with a student body of 800.

As DBHS has a much larger student body, Davis hopes to expand and improve DBHS’ own center over time.

The Wellness Center has made efforts to publicize its existence by setting up a booth during the freshman remix, handing out flyers, and hosting an art contest.

To celebrate the opening, the school will hold a fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to introduce students to this new resource.

The Wellness Center’s grand opening will feature community vendors, therapy dogs, and guest speakers from Cal State Fullerton, as well as raffles and other wellness related activities for the students to enjoy throughout the grand opening  day.

History, Economy, Kinesiology, and Health teachers will be allowing their students to participate in the fair during class time.

In addition, there will be a variety of student performances and demonstrations during the fair, such as singing and dancing by groups on campus.

Students will receive a “passport to wellness,” which they can use to visit vendors and acquire stamps that will allow them to participate in raffles for Disneyland tickets, Sadies Hawkins Dance tickets, and more.

Results of the Zen art contest, an event that students signed up for beforehand, will also be announced the same day.