Advisory at DVC is a home within a home where students listen to and learn from each other in a mixed grade-level class. In addition to community-building activities and disseminating important information, we also have overarching units where we talk about important issues. In previous years these units have been determined primarily by DVC staff, but in an effort to include more student voice in what we do, a program called Advisory Ambassadors was created earlier in the school year. A representative from each advisory came and met during the first semester and this group made it clear to us: our students want more emphasis on supporting teenagers with stress, anxiety, and depression.
After consulting our counselors and looking at research from organizations across the country (including the American Psychological Association and major colleges/universities), we have decided to start off this semester with a unit on Mental Health & Wellness. We will use a two-pronged evidence-based approach to teach students mindfulness techniques and coping strategies to help reduce anxiety and stress while simultaneously helping students increase their ability to focus and maintain satisfying relationships in their lives. Mindfulness is defined as the practice of paying attention to thoughts, physical sensations, and the environment. Coping strategies including journaling, developing a growth mindset, and exercising. We want our students to be aware of their emotions and have control over the way they react. Additionally, we want students to have strategies for decompressing and staying calm under pressure.
If you have any questions, concerns, or resources to share, please contact Erin D’Souza at (310) 725-5800 or email@example.com.