Virtual Wellness Center
The Wellness Initiative:
The San Francisco Wellness Initiative is a “groundbreaking program dedicated to improving the health, well-being and academic success of the city’s 16,000 public high school students at 19 campuses. In safe, confidential settings, experts in adolescent health at onsite Wellness Centers help teens gain the skills they need to cope with complex issues such as stress, trauma, suicide, bullying, depression, self-esteem, drug and alcohol use, sexual health and relationships. Students learn positive, lifelong habits that contribute to their well-being and success, and ultimately, to the health of the communities in which they live”. See the full history of the program at https://sfwellness.org/.
Independence HS Wellness Center:
Our Wellness Center opened in 2013 and was originally staffed with just a full-time Wellness Coordinator (School Social Worker) and a part-time School Nurse. As Independence HS has grown over the years and to better support our students' growing health needs, we've increased our staff to include a full-time Community Health Outreach Worker (CHOW), who coordinates the Youth Outreach Workers program of peer-to-peer health educators. The CHOW also manages the Center's drop-in space where they triage the needs of students and connect them to the appropriate service or wellness provider. Other Wellness Staff includes two part-time occupational therapists who offer activity-based therapy and skill-building opportunities to students who are not seeking traditional talk therapy. And for students who are seeking traditional talk therapy, we have a part-time RAMS Mental Health Therapist, who offers confidential counseling to students on campus. The overall services that are offered to students through the Wellness Center are confidential counseling, occupational therapy (activity-based therapy & skill-building), support groups, case management, sexual reproductive health education, off-site referrals, Health Education, a safe space and Health Education school-wide presentations. Our Wellness Center is a safe space where students can talk confidentially and get support for the challenges they face.