Nardin News

Nardin Continues Mental Health in Education Conversation
Nardin Continues Mental Health in Education Conversation
On Tuesday, March 27, Nardin Academy High School hosted a Mental Health Assembly as a response to student feedback regarding mental health in education and Nardin's overall strategic plan to maximize student potential. This event, organized by the Nardin Academy School Psychologist Jessica Tramont Neilans '07, who joined the campus community in January, focused on student's social and emotional well-being.

Students had the opportunity to interact with guest speaker, Carly Congilosi, from the Mental Health Association of Erie County Youth Peer Advocates program. Carly addressed depression, anxiety, resources available to teens within the Western New York community, and thoughtfully answered questions.

As Nardin looks to continue this important national conversation, Mrs. Neilans took the time to answer a few questions:

What are your duties as a school psychologist?

At Nardin, my role is to assist in addressing the mental health of our students grades 5 - 12, with availability for consultation if there are needs in the lower grades. Currently, I provide individual and small-group counseling to high school students, consult with faculty and staff on meeting the social emotional needs of students as it relates to their academics, and assist parents in identifying outside service providers for their children. I've also been working to start the conversation about mental health among the general student body by arranging speakers and presentations on topics such as depression, anxiety, mental wellness, etc. My skill set also allows me to administer and interpret various psychological assessments (cognitive, achievement, and behavioral) in order to identify a child's learning strengths and weaknesses. This service will hopefully be offered next school year. Additionally, next year, I am looking to start a Mental Wellness Club in the high school in order to address and break down the stigma associated with mental health.

How can students arrange for an appointment with you?

Currently, if students are interested in arranging an appointment with me, they can contact me directly via e-mail or stopping by my office. They can also go through their guidance counselor if they do not feel comfortable approaching me directly. Parents are also welcome to contact me either by phone or e-mail to discuss the concerns they have about their child.

Why is this position important?

I believe this position is important because we need to look at each student as a whole person and not just a child in a desk. There is bountiful research stating the effects of mental well-being on a child's ability to perform in school. I hope to help educate the students, staff, and parents on how to identify and address a child's mental health in order to maximize their potential and make their Nardin experience the best it can be.

Further resources can be found on the newest portion of the Nardin website:

https://www.nardin.org/student-life/student-services