Wellness Program Frequently Asked Questions
The Wellness Program provides an emotional check-in for students during their regular school day. The goal is to strengthen systems of health within our community by providing high quality and affordable mental health resources. Through collaboration with community partners and dedication to the young lives in SETX, the Wellness Program helps high school students build the foundation for a healthy life.
- Suicide Attempts/Ideations
- Substance Use
- Peer/Prosocial Concerns
- Conduct Concerns
- Home Life Concerns
The main benefit is identifying youth who are struggling and directing them to trusted adults who can help. After identification, the Wellness Program’s strength is connecting students with their parents, school counselors, and community resources. This enables parents to get help before concerns become more severe and/or life-threatening.
Research shows that early screening helps distinguish between those who could benefit from a minimal intervention and those who may require further diagnostic assessment or possible treatment.
A student’s mental wellness can have major impacts on their school performance and ability to learn. For example, common symptoms of depression include difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions.
Research shows that half of mental illnesses begin by age 14 and 75% take root by age 24. Wellness Screenings are a tool to identify these concerns early to intervene and provide each child with necessary and healthy coping skills. Early intervention and educational efforts can help parents learn how to establish a foundation for healthy social and emotional development for their child.
Participation in the Wellness Program is completely voluntary, and you and your child can refuse to participate. Your child’s screening results are confidential. Specific questions and responses will not be shared. Student responses will only be shared with the school counselor if there seems to be a need for counseling or other services. Information regarding social services (I.e., smoke detector needed in the home) will be shared with our community partners. Screening results will be kept separate from academic files.
Often, signs of mental health problems are not visible. Although changes in academic performance can indicate a mental health concern, issues do not always present themselves in this way. Our Wellness Program’s screenings are viewed as a “check in” just like one would visit a doctor or dentist for a checkup.
If a potential concern appears in your child’s screening, he or she will have a follow-up conversation with a trained mental health professional to determine if follow-up services would be beneficial. If your child referenced suicide in his or her screening, you will be contacted to discuss your child’s results and recommendations. Your consent to the Wellness Screening is also consent for follow-up services if your child chooses to participate. This can include counseling, case management, and/or support with social services.
Our Wellness Team works closely with school district personnel to ensure the confidentiality of every student's personal information and screening results. Screening results will only be shared with your child’s school counselor if there seems to be a need for counseling or other services. Screening files are kept separate from academic files. Only screening staff and your child’s school counselor are aware of screening results. Teachers and classmates are not aware of results.
The Wellness Program is supported by The Episcopal Health Foundation, local donors, and foundations. This program accepts individual donations to help continue providing screenings and mental health services to students.
The Wellness Screening and Case Management services are supported by The Episcopal Health Foundation and local donations sponsoring our program. You will not be responsible for paying for any Case Management services your child may receive.
If you choose to participate in counseling services, Samaritan Counseling Center's administrative staff will help you to use your insurance or set up a self-pay plan.
It is always good to check-in with your child’s mental health. Sometimes, students will share something on their Wellness Screening that they may not share with their counselor or other trusted adults. Although we cannot provide your child with additional counseling services, we can support them with social services such as a smoke detector, access to food, etc.
Wellness Screenings are not used to diagnose students with mental health disorders. Our goal is to provide parents with information regarding possible concerns and to connect students with the appropriate mental health resources. We do not prescribe or recommend medications.
Parents must give consent for their child to participate in the Wellness Program. Parents will be notified if their student references a previous suicide attempt or thoughts of suicide on their Wellness Screening. If you have any questions or concerns, you may reach out to Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeast Texas Wellness Screening Staff: