Photo Courtesy of Sam Mavis
Mental health is the psychological well-being of a person. September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and to acknowledge this, the counseling department at Oak Park High School chose to invite a therapist to speak.
“Sam Mavis is a local Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at the Ludington Institute for Family Enrichment, where she specializes in working with teens and young adults,” counselor Janet Svoboda wrote to the Talon.
Mavis has worked with students before during the Advanced Peer Counseling retreat.
“The Ludington Institute provides comprehensive, integrated therapeutic services to individuals, couples and families. We have a long history of working closely with local school districts such as Oak Park by providing support and outreach through participating in guest lectures,” A.M.F.T supervised by Alan Ludington at Ludington Institute Sam Mavis (109734) said.
Advanced Peer Counseling has a committee, according to Ross, dedicated to mental health. Seniors Amber Arquilevich, Emily Francis, and Shoshana Medved are the three students in this committee and helped lead the presentation.
“We wanted it to be kind of like an Oprah episode with our students asking the questions and the therapist answering them,” OPHS counselor Julie Ross wrote.
According to Ross, the counselors are seeing a need to address the fact that the coping skills students might have are no match for what is going on in the world around them. Counselors brought in Mavis to talk about mental health and how to maintain healthy habits during this time.
“The topic of Emotional Regulation & Guidance During Chaos and Uncertainty is especially relevant right now. The intent was to help students better manage their feelings and reactions during stressful times,” Svoboda wrote.
The presentation taught students ways to cope with emotions that may arise due to current politics, COVID-19 or the stress of distance learning. Advanced Peer Counseling and Mavis also came up with ways to keep the body and mind at ease and healthy such as listening to music, drawing, running, etc.
“Under the umbrella of emotional regulation and how to manage and develop emotional insight, this lecture was created with the intention of creating awareness and developing coping skills to help navigate emotional highs and lows during this challenging time,” Mavis said.
The counselors received positive feedback from parents and students after the presentation.
“I feel that Sam did a great job in addressing the topic. Helping students understand how to manage frustration is important not only during COVID but in all of life’s difficult times,” Svoboda wrote.