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Dublin High School unveils new Wellness Center for students

First-of-its-kind facility offers mental health counseling, adulting 101 classes and more

A new Wellness Center that opened at Dublin High School last week will give students a place that they can turn to on campus when life becomes overwhelming, whether in or outside of the classroom.

Dozens of students, faculty and administrators including Dublin Mayor David Haubert, Dublin Unified School District Superintendent Dave Marken and DUSD Board President Amy Miller marked the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning, followed by a sitdown lunch in the drama theater catered by students in the school's culinary program.

Tri-Valley school districts are increasingly focused on the mental well-being of students; Pleasanton Unified School District has held screenings of the mental health documentary "Angst" at Foothill and Amador Valley high schools over the past year, as have schools in Livermore. Students said the Wellness Center at Dublin High is a much-needed and beneficial resource for them and their approximately 3,200 peers.

"As somebody who does really struggle with anxiety, it's nice to know that we have a center now that is available all times of day for me to come, or for other students to come, and just feel safe and secure," student Jenna Bowie said during a speech that day. "We know that we're safe and secure but sometimes we need to be reminded of that."

The first of its kind in the district, the Wellness Center offers students an array of services and programs that cater to their mental, emotional and social needs. On-call, individual and group counseling, "adulting 101" classes, and tobacco use prevention education are some of the amenities that can be found at the small portable building tucked near the tennis courts.

Food and hygiene items are even available for students who have nothing to eat for lunch or forgot to put on some deodorant before heading off to class.

A small garden with seating just outside completes the peaceful environment that is expected to be a popular draw for students. Inside are private offices for counseling sessions and couches and chairs where visitors can relax in front of a small tabletop meditation fountain; vivid green succulents and modest but colorful floral arrangements brighten the otherwise standard building.

"Here we're walking the talk, and that is so meaningful," said Miller, who implored youth to take advantage of the center whenever they need. "These resources are here for you; we're here for you. We want you to be successful and we know that sometimes that means taking care of your heart and soul, and this is the place for you to do it."

Renovations on the building that now houses the Wellness Center started in May, according to DUSD spokesman Chip Dehnert. Fremont Bank donated $10,000 toward the project, which was mostly paid for using district funds.

The Wellness Center is open to Dublin High students during school days from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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Comments

3 people like this
Posted by Sandra Hansen
a resident of Mission Park
on Sep 18, 2019 at 1:45 pm

It's about time! I've been an active member of AAUW (American Association of University Women) for over 40 years, and led some of our advocacy efforrts in California at one point in time. In 1987, AAUW of Calilfornia worked with state Senator Leroy Greene to get one of the first pieces of legislation (SB717) in support of school-based health centers through the legislature - and followed in subsequent years with several other pieces. (Yes- I've checked an AAUW history to tie down the year). Funding was always an issue, as well as the clash between parental rights and privacy rights of youth. it was an uphill slog for a long time. I'm glad to see that Dublin will finally - 32 years later - have such a center for students.


2 people like this
Posted by Jen F
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 22, 2019 at 1:16 pm

This is wonderful. Does anyone know if something like this is feasible for Amador? Would love to make a donation if anything is in the works.


Like this comment
Posted by Anony
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2019 at 4:45 pm

Jen F,

Amador does have wellness center with regular hours during the week and special seminars during the year. It’s a great place for students to unwind, talk to a counselor, or get information about mental health services.


Like this comment
Posted by Margo Tarver
a resident of Las Positas Garden Homes
on Sep 24, 2019 at 10:24 am

This is a wonderful idea. We need to do this in all of our schools.This could prevent suicides as well. I will talk to Valerie Arkin about it. She is very responsive to her constituents.


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