By Elly Beauchamp | Staff Writer
When students feel they are falling behind and need some extra support, in school support groups lead by STAN counselor Lisa Williams, can help students be successful in and out of the school setting. As of now, the groups have around ten members that allow for a close and intimate connection.
The three groups, the Grief, Connections, and Girls groups offer services to students who are grieving the loss of a close family member or friend, or are new to our campus. The groups are open to all grade levels.
“The Girls group is for girls mainly because [they] go through issues about their bodies, self image, and things most girls go through. They are issues that really relate mostly to girls,” Williams said.
These sessions will let girls express themselves in a safe environment and help raise self esteem. This group works with the Connections group, a place where students who are having a hard time adjusting to Johnson can meet.
“The Connections group is designed for those students who are having a difficult time adjusting to high school. Most of them may be ninth graders, but not necessarily only ninth graders, there may be students who have transferred from other states or other districts and they’re new to Johnson,” Williams said.
The Connections group can help kids adapt to their new environment, gain studying skills and strategies, and help with dealing with test anxiety.
“The Connections class will be place, a group where they can meet new people in a comfortable environment, it will be during their lunch time, we will meet once a week. Whatever we think is going to help them adjust socially and academically we’re gonna do,” Williams said.
Alongside these two groups is the grief group, which’s main goal is to help students who are struggling with the death of a loved one or friend. The group has six sessions and lets students connect with others who are going through the same process.
“It’s like a support group. Some who have kind of been grieving for a while, who have lost a loved one, are able to help those that have had a recent loss. They get a chance to meet others who are going through the same process and some of them are in different stages of grief,” Williams said.
Students from this group can also reach out to the Children’s Bereavement Center of San Antonio which offers additional help to students and STAN counselors.
Teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents can recommend students of any of the groups and students themselves can email Williams or make a counselor request to see her if they feel that they or a friend would benefit from being in one of the groups.
“Anyone can join. We want to be able to help anyone who needs support, they need support and it doesn’t matter what level of grief or state of grief they’re in,” Williams said.
Group sessions start this month and for more information about where to meet and when, talk to Lisa Williams in the counselor’s office or email her.
“A good student or a successful student is just not someone who is academically successful, it’s someone who is also mentally and emotionally successful and that’s what those support groups do, they help students be emotionally successful, help their mental health and enhance their academic side also,” Williams said.