A Guide To Wellness

By Shaina Mandala, Graphics Editor

Wellness’s resources: 

Last year, The Tam News published an article about Tamalpais High School’s Wellness Center to bring attention to its presence and briefly cover the resources it provides. However, the resources that Wellness provides are more extensive than the last article suggested and deserve an article of their own.

As Sophia Kauffman, the Wellness Outreach Specialist, said “We can help people navigate whatever is going on.”

Wellness’s website:

On the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) website, Wellness has a section of its own. 

Once you find yourself in that section of the website, Redwood Wellness, Tam Wellness, and Archie Williams Wellness have separate links that navigate to a page with office hours for the physical Wellness Center, a small description of Wellness, and the Wellness staff. 

Below the link to Redwood Wellness is another link that takes you to Wellness’s mission statement and its observed impacts on the TUHSD community. Below the link to Tam Wellness is a link to the “Virtual Regulation Room,” an interactive animation of tools: a stress relief yoga guide, videos of dogs, a virtual zen garden, etc. Below the link to Archie Williams Wellness is a link to a video of the Wellness staff giving an overview of Wellness.

Scrolling past those links are a colorful array of icons, each of which brings you to a separate resource provided by Wellness.

Connect with Wellness: 

“Our Wellness people are always down and really excited to talk about what we have to offer and to listen to what people have going on,” Kauffman said.

Wellness wants the community to come to them: it has an Instagram where students and families can interact as well as a link to it through the website. Another icon links a description of how to connect with your Wellness provider.  The Wellness events calender provides dates and times of sexual health clinics, therapy dog visits, and other interesting programs the community can participate in. Wellness also reaches out to the community: with their “be an Upstander” presentation that it have a whole icon dedicated to, the Wellness coordinators taught every Tam class about the importance of not being a bystander in social situations.

Times of need: 

Wellness is a helping hand in times of desperate need. The crisis support icon, two hands holding each other in the shape of a heart, is linked to a number of hotlines that may be useful to students in crisis situations such as suicide, alcohol, drugs, etc. Beneath each hotline is a description, outlining the reasons to call. Some crises call for a community setting, in which case you would navigate to the community support groups icon. This link provides organizations with meetings for different kinds of people who need support such as addicts, suicide survivors, etc. There are separate icons for LGBTQ+ students and students of color, providing specific resources to those identities. For students and families who need food, housing, and other similar resources, there are organizations linked in accordance to those needs. 

“It can be hard to talk about these kinds of things. People might be embarrassed to say that they need support but the more people that use [Wellness] and the more people that talk about it, the more successful it becomes,” Kauffman said, touching on the crises resources.

Educate yourself:

Life is best lived informed. Wellness provides separate icons that link information for sexual health and effects of vaping, drugs, and alcohol. 

Take care of your body and mind: 

Serious topics are not the only things Wellness covers; it provides tips for physical health topics (with separate icons for health education, nutrition, and fitness and movement) and tips for mental health (with separate icons for mental health apps, tips for getting organized, books, podcasts, movies and shows, and self-care and mindfulness). 

Wellness is for all:

Wellness includes everyone: it provides resources to parents, staff and writes a letter to all students and families about what Wellness does for the community. “Mental health is crucial for [everybody],” Kauffman said.

School can be overwhelming, especially with outside factors such as social lives, family issues, and emotional well-being. That’s why Wellness is on campus with all of these resources. Utilize what is provided for you; you don’t have to struggle alone.