Implementation of Palos Verdes High’s New Wellness Program

December 7, 2016
April Lee  Palos Verdes High 10th Grade

April Lee
Palos Verdes High 10th Grade

Quick Google searches on adolescent stress levels bring up surprising results-headlines such as “Studies Show Normal Children Today Report More Anxiety than Child Psychiatric Patients in the 1950′s” or “America’s Teens Outscore Adults On Stress”. With such startling articles on unhealthy teenage mentality, it’s no surprise that Palos Verdes High School counselor Kristen Nelson recognized the recent influx in students coming in for counseling. Her plan for ameliorating the stress on high school students? A Wellness Center.
When Mrs. Nelson came into my fourth period class one fateful morning, she broke the ice with what should’ve have been a simple question: “How much sleep did you get last night?” With only two students out of a class of 26 getting more than 8 hours of sleep, Mrs. Nelson was shocked, if not appalled at everyone’s lack of sleep. Even with all her years of experience as an activity director, teacher, coach and counselor, she hadn’t expected this level of sleep deprivation and it only inspired Mrs. Nelson to work even further towards her goal of implementing a wellness center at Palos Verdes High School.

The Wellness Center, she explained, would focus on providing a safe haven for students who want to alleviate or escape the stress of their daily lives. Furniture like couches and beanbag chairs would furnish the room, and Mrs. Nelson even admitted looking into aromatherapy. In fact, although the official Wellness Center isn’t officially implemented, free yoga classes as a part of Wellness Programactivities are already being offered on late-start mornings. They also have started a new Parent Education Speaker Series for the month of November to educate parents on how to better understand and relieve stress for their high school student.

As a student, I welcome this new change. I firmly believe that the recognition of adolescent problems such as these can assuage stress levels and in turn, bring about healthier and happier students.