& Wellness Services
Mental Health & Wellness Services
GALS has an in-house mental health team that works closely with students and families, which is unique in the public school system. We offer:
- Individual and group counseling
- Family support and parent education
- Resources and referrals
GALS is committed to holistic education. In order for students to reach their full academic potential, we believe they also need to be socially and emotionally healthy, as well as mentally healthy. Our school based mental health team offers a range of services including wellness and prevention, supporting students with the short-term challenges related to growing up, to more intensive support. This may include crisis intervention and responding to emerging mental health issues that may require outside referral. Our team offers support in emotional regulation and building coping skills and strategies so that students may focus in the classroom, and also develop healthy relationships and self-advocacy skills.
In keeping with the movement focus at GALS, we have team members who are dance/movement therapists, incorporating a trauma informed, somatic approach to mental health counseling.
The GALS pledge begins with “I know who I am. I know that I matter”, which is aspirational. The reality is that most adolescents do not yet know who they are, and many do not feel that they matter. Our team enhances other aspects of the GALS model by working with students on self-awareness and creative expression to explore emerging identity. Students learn how to best take care of themselves physically and emotionally.
The GALS counseling staff is integrated into the school environment, supporting students academically in the classroom, supporting sexual health and GALS Series curriculum, participating in and leading morning movement and special events, and staffing lunch and recess. This collaborative approach allows for counselors to witness and address concerning behaviors in the school environment as they arise, in addition to ongoing counseling support outside the classroom.
How to access services:
Students may request counseling support or be referred by a teacher or parent/caregiver.
What about non-binary and transgender students?
GALS does not discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression in its enrollment or retention policies. GALS welcomes and supports applicants and current students whose gender identity does not correspond to the sex assigned at birth. This includes applicants and current students who: Were not assigned female at birth but identify as female; Were assigned female at birth but do not identify as female; Are questioning their gender identity; Identify as gender-nonconforming, gender-fluid, or other non-binary statuses; this includes applicants or current students who at some point in their time at GALS choose to transition. All GALS staff will contribute to a safe, supportive and welcoming environment. While GALS staff may foster supportive conversations related to gender identity that current or potential students may be exploring, staff shall never require students to publicly or privately identify under any status until the student so chooses.