What is the role of a School Counselor?
Jennifer Orhuozee, Inglemoor Highschool Counselor
Interview Questions Style Write Up
What is your name and role at Inglemoor highschool?
Mrs. Orhuozee, School Counselor at Inglemoor
What does being a school counselor entail?
As a counselor Mrs. O’s primary responsibility entail 3 main domains: helping students keep track of their academics, social/emotional, and college and career paths. Interestingly enough a job as a school counselor extremely varies. She holds her primary responsibility in making sure students are on track for graduation and figuring out what next paths are right for them. She states that the reason the job is so enthralling is that “I never know what the day might look like”. One minute she could be having a meeting with a 4.0 perfectionist student wanting to go to an Ivy league, and the next she could be helping a student through a high acuity crisis. “The most important thing I have learned and come to respect as a counselor is that people can struggle regardless of their background.”
Do you also get trained in mental health training?
As a counselor Mrs. O is also trained in mental health, something that many people don’t realize about most school counselors. School counselors are typically required to have mastered degrees, and majority of them have some focus on mental health.
How have you seen mental health of students alter over the past 3 years?
While Mental health has always been prominent, its became more of a buzzword throughout the past 2 years. Students have always been in need, it’s simply now a popular thing to say, and talk about. Which has its pros and cons. While many issues were exacerbated with covid, teens and youth are more comfortable talking about their battles nowadays. However, this also broadens the scope for how many individuals are struggling and working to understand the severity of everyone’s issues. Many people are still battling in silence.
How do you play a role in helping students?
Mrs. O says that her main role in helping students is identifying issues and referring them out. Sometimes many students simply cannot afford a therapist, or can’t access free community resources, so a school counselor is all they have. At our school this year, we have finally received funding for a mental health therapist which is a gamechanger for our school handling mental health issues. It’s also vital for her to help families understand when a student us struggling. But you also have to come to terms with the fact that you will never be able to help everyone struggling, and no matter what someone is always going to be pissed at you, but that’s just the way of life.
Typically, do you talk with more boys and girls?
Mrs. O says her gender diversity with mental health is about even. While most times she is in the role of seeking students out she says that she deals with a rough balance of both genders. However, when it comes to terms or people seeking her out or asking for help she says its heavily more on the side of girls. Thus, the stigma for boys and mental health remains today.
If you had one piece of advice for students what would that be?
“Don’t isolate yourself, utilize the resources to get help, and try your best to enjoy the crazy ups and downs of high school.”