Wellness Center Program
About the TTUSD Wellness Center Program
The TTUSD Wellness Program is a collaborative project between the school district, Nevada and Placer Counties, the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee partners and youth, designed to help high school students access a broad spectrum of mental health services. This program is comprised of Wellness Centers at Truckee High and North Tahoe High, individualized wellness programming at Sierra High and the Community School (Placer County Court School), and linkages to North Tahoe Middle School and Alder Creek Middle School. The Program is overseen by the TTUSD Wellness Manager and staffed by two Wellness Liaisons at the Wellness Centers and Gateway Mountain Center staff at Sierra High and the Community School. Wellness Staff work directly with youth to educate and empower them to have a voice in decisions about their own health and well-being.
The Wellness Program is under the TTUSD Student Services Department and was created in response to the high schools asking for more community support services after experiencing a number of student suicides. The concept came out of a conversation at the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee (CCTT) Leadership Team. CCTT partners saw a need to provide more community supports and mental health linkages to our high school students to prevent future suicides. Many young people in our community were asking for help and demonstrating a need for support through a variety of concerning behaviors, including delinquency, substance abuse, unhealthy relationships, depression, anxiety and suicide. Yet, very few were accessing services and even fewer engaging in services voluntarily. We realized that in order to better support our youth, we needed to go to where they were, build relationships and create a program based on what was important to them.
The Wellness Centers serve as hubs for students to drop-in during their breaks or during class time, if needed, to ask questions, get support, connect to community resources, learn new skills or just relax. They are furnished with cozy bean bag chairs, couches, art work, music, games, art supplies with butcher paper and healthy snacks to make it a fun place for students to hang out.
The PURPOSE of the Wellness Program is for students to:
- Have a voice in determining what Wellness Supports are needed at their school
- Develop skills for personal resiliency, peer support, and leadership
- Connect with informed and caring adults and peers
- Ask questions relevant to physical, emotional, social and emotional well-being
- Receive and utilize referrals to community resources
- Learn how to effectively access services and support for themselves and others
Key Focus Areas include:
YOUTH VOICE- We facilitate a peer mentoring program through our Wellness Centers. We train students to become Peer Mentors and teach them skills to better support themselves and their peers. The Peer Mentors run 9th grade Peer Mentor Support Groups, 9th grade educational workshops and are starting to offer middle school supports.
We also provide opportunities for students to have an authentic voice in shaping school and community initiatives, such as:
- Sources of Strength Club – a Truckee High Suicide Prevention Club that reduces mental health stigma and encourages students to ask for help if they are feeling depressed and/or suicidal.
- Pride Club – a Truckee High Club that supports MOGII (Marginalized Orientations, Gender Identities and Intersex) youth and educates the school and the broader community about the broad spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities.
- SAGA Club (Sexuality and Gender Acceptance) – a North Tahoe High club that supports LGBTQ+ students with different sexual orientations and gender identities and creates awareness about creating a safe and accepting school culture for all.
- Youth Leadership Trainings – each year we create opportunities for youth to become stronger leaders and have a voice at school through events, such as: the Butte County Reach Conference and the Youth Leadership Summit.
- Challenge Days – each year all of our school district 9th graders participate in a powerful, anti-bullying day that is designed to increase personal power, self-esteem and positive peer supports.
- Community Collaborative Meetings – students have the opportunity to have a voice at the community leadership table about important issues, such as: drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, suicide, understanding the LGBTQ culture, social media and youth drug and alcohol addiction.
SUPPORT- We provide trained staff and volunteers from community agencies to listen to, support and connect students to community health and wellness resources. We offer a variety of empowerment and peer support groups to build stronger connections with students and provide ongoing social emotional supports.
EDUCATION- We offer Wellness Workshops to provide students with practical tools to improve their overall health. Topics cover the range of social, emotional, mental and physical health, such as:
- Healthy Ways to Deal with Stress – a series of workshops offered to Sierra High and Community School students about healthy ways to deal with stress such as: breathing, yoga, journaling, connecting with music and mindfulness
- Heart Math – a workshop offered to all high school students through the health classes and girls/boys groups. We use an emWave heart monitor device to demonstrate how our bodies hold stress. It teaches strategies for students to become more resilient and decrease stress in their lives.
- Know the Signs – a workshop about knowing the signs of suicide, finding the words to talk about it and reaching out for help.
Locations and Hours
We have Wellness Centers at North Tahoe High and Truckee High. The Wellness Centers provide a comfortable setting for students to drop-in during their breaks to ask questions, get support or just relax. The Centers are furnished with cozy bean bag chairs, couches, art work, music, games, art supplies with butcher paper and healthy snacks to make it a fun place for students to hang out.
- North Tahoe High – The Wellness Center is located in Rm 217 and is open Monday-Thursday: 7:30-2:30 and Fridays 10:30-12:30.
- Truckee High – The Wellness Center is located in M1 and is open Monday-Friday: 8:00-3:00.
- At Sierra High, we partner with Gateway Mountain Center and Sierra High staff to create an integrated Wellness Curriculum that provides individualized supports and tools for students to develop sustainable wellness practices.