Mental Health at Friends Academy


Students and teachers alike deeply value the health and well-being of our FA community. This was the message of the lunch and learn on October 24th, where administrators, teachers (including Mr. Baskind, the dean of student life), and students gathered in the QSLC to discuss the arrival of a new lower school psychologist, Lauren, and how her presence affects all divisions at Friends.


One concern raised by upper school students was that the high schoolers weren’t notified or told formally that she was there and available as a resource, since her office and primary workplace is in the lower school basement. 


Lauren’s availability as a resource is especially important to female students, since she was specifically brought in due to parents and students feeling that a female counselor was important in dealing with certain sensitive topics, and increasing the comfort level of girls to visit a counselor in general. However, faculty proceded to assure the members of the meeting that she was most certainly available as a resource to any upper schooler who would like to talk to her and also urged that students email or stop by her office beforehand, since she works with many lower schoolers as well. 


Faculty and students are working together to hopefully create an opportunity for Lauren to focus her attention on middle and upper schoolers during lunch periods, but for now, Lauren would like to stress that her office always has an open-door policy and is a safe space for any student who needs a resource to turn to during the school day.