DB Forum expands its reach

Brian Chang, News Editor

As an extension of their efforts to spread stress awareness, Diamond Bar High School peer counselors went on the road last month  to bring a hybrid version of DB Forum to the Academy of the Canyons High School in Santa Clarita.

Held biannually, DB Forum is meant to foster discussion between students, allowing them to open up about their struggles.

However, the forum at Canyons High on Jan. 27 was more of a workshop to instruct students on how to better deal with their problems.

Students were given folders containing resources on how to vent their emotions and were taught how to complete action plans to manage their workload.

“It was a good way for us to really practice our skills, since we don’t really get that opportunity at DBHS since not a lot of people attend peer counseling events,” senior Brandon Tang said. “When they hear peer counseling, they just think it’s going to be a big cry-fest, but what we really do is teach people about what they can do to manage their stress.”

Wellness Center coordinator Sandy Davis first began planning the event when she was discussing the similarities between DBHS and Canyons students with an Academy staff member. Davis was invited to bring DB Forum to the school in order to suggest further methods for reducing stress.

For the event, both peer counselors, as well as alumni, were asked to participate.

Although it initially took students some time to break out of their shell, they spoke up about their problems by the end of the day.

“Before going in, we didn’t really expect for students to be very introverted, but when we got there, the students were very introverted, and while we were facilitating, we thought we were doing a bad job because the students over there were pretty quiet the entire time,” Tang said. “But when it came down to the evaluation sheets, we had really great reviews.”

Currently, there are no plans to bring DB Forum to any other campuses, though Davis hopes to return to Canyons High in the fall to check up on the students.

She is currently placing her priorities on the Wellness Center and passing on the mantle of peer counselor advisor to academic support teacher Albert Lim in order to focus more energy on the center.

“My wellness consultants had a great time, and they learned to broaden their perspective on what it is like on other campuses,” Davis said. “They also came away with a deeper appreciation for the kind of support we have here at DBHS.”