Keeping Students Safe

Thanks to Round Lake High School’s counseling and mental health staff, students have one more defense against suicide.


Photo by Hichem Deghmoum from Pexels

Mental health awareness organization recently came to Round Lake High School to help ensure students receive the support they need.

Maria Hernandez, Staff Writer

Elyssa’s Mission is an organization that helps people with depression and helps suicide prevention. The foundation partnered up with Round Lake High School in February in order to bring awareness of mental health issues to both students and staff.

According to its website, Elyssa’s Mission started around 2006 in memory of a girl named Elyssa who was bravely fighting post-traumatic order and depression. The foundation provides hands-on support to public and private school all around Illinois.

 “We decided to partner with them as I learned about them through some local schools who had a great success with them,” said Sarah Schafer, a counselor at RLHS. “We [the mental health staff] want to ensure that we are providing supports for all students who need them and sometimes students don’t know how to ask for help, so this program helps to provide the chance for us as a team to identify students who need some additional support.”

Sophomores watched a brief film about the signs of suicide and then discussed it. Once the lessons were done, all the students took a survey. The survey answers were looked over by RLHS’s mental health team. Members of the team identified the students who needed help based on their answers to the screening questions. Students who seemed to be struggling were met within the day by either a counselor, social worker, or psychologist. From there, students learned about more steps they could take in order to feel safe and supported.

According to Schafer, next year’s tenth graders will go through the lesson and mental health screening as well. “Elyssa’s Mission was done in the seventh grade at the middle schools this school year, but in the future we will be expanding to screen and teach multiple levels,” she said.