Full Brain, Full Clinic; mental health services within the school clinic


The mental health area of the clinic can help students deal with many issues including the ones above. “School is very stressful and it’s good for me to talk about it. It gets all the stress and pressure off my chest.” said an anonymous source “Joel Barrett”. Graphic: Katherine Lundquist

South’s clinic has more services than what meet the eye. Yes, everyone knows that you can get STI tests, birth control, physicals etc., but for students struggling with mental health you can get help there. The clinic offers so many different services for many different students.

The clinic helps students in just about any mental health area. “A lot of high school students struggle with depression and anxiety,” said Marie Capra, the mental health supervisor and therapist at the clinic. A lot of teenagers are very stressed with balancing their many responsibilities and that can cause mental problems. “Difficulties through childhood make it difficult for them, from doing the best they could be doing. Things that have happened in someone’s short amount of life,”

an anonymous source, “Joel Barrett” explained that he found out about  mental health services at the clinic when he went in for a physical and overheard people talking about it.  He now uses that therapy. 

“I do [think the clinic is helping]. It gives me a space where I can talk without out being judged,” Barrett said. “School is very stressful and it’s good for me to talk about it. It gets all the stress and pressure off my chest.” Barrett would like to go more than he does but it’s always booked. “I think it’s a good thing and they should have more therapists and more available times.”

“When I first found out about the clinic, they did not have enough space for me,” said an anonymous source going by “Noah Thompson”. Thompson has been going since the freshman year and “it has been really helping me ever since.”

The clinic is almost always full and they can’t take a lot of new kids. There is not a lot the therapist can do to help you when they are busy, but they do meet with you. They help you find another place to go for counseling. Even if they are not taking new clients people can still come in to get counseling elsewhere.

“When you think about a school with 2000 kids it’s obvious that we are not serving very many people” continued Capra. With 1 full time therapist and 2 interns who are only there 3 times a week they can’t fit in everyone all the time. Often Capra’s work doesn’t end when the patient leaves the room. “Therapy is comprehensive…. There is work that goes into documenting the sessions” said Capra.

“But the truth is we can only have 35-40 students at a time,” said Capra. Everyday Capra has a full schedule. From appointments with student to supervision meetings, she is always busy. “I am the mental health supervisor so I have a lot of leadership duties as well.”

“What I love about working in the school is that I get to join people in their world,” said Capra. High school is a big part of a teenagers world and Capra gets to kind of live in that world. “I get a better feel for what a high school experience might be life for a student,” she continued. “So it gives us an advantage here.” Having a clinic with mental health services so close is an advantage in itself, it is free and easy.

Therapists don’t have magic wands, they can’t make your problems magically go away. “We are just planting seeds” Capra said “People get a lot of relief from knowing that they are doing something to make themselves emotionally better.”Just taking a step in the direction of getting help or getting better can be really empowering.