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. The Wellness Program is comprised of Wellness Centers at North Tahoe High and Truckee High, individualized wellness programming at Sierra High and the Community School (Placer County Court School), and outreach and education to North Tahoe Middle School, Alder Creek Middle School and the elementary schools. The Program is overseen by the TTUSD Wellness Manager and staffed by two Wellness Liaisons at the Wellness Centers and supportive staff at Sierra High and the Community School. The Wellness Manager works closely with the school counseling teams to offer a variety of school and community-based wellness programs at each school site. Wellness Staff works 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 provide a safe, supportive environment at school where students can go to discuss a variety of issues from depression, anxiety, stress, grief, and family life to dating violence, sexual identity, and health needs. Through both on-campus programming and community-based partnerships, students receive coordinated health education, screenings, counseling, and other supportive services to improve their mental and emotional health. The Centers are furnished with cozy chairs and couches, tea and snacks which makes them comfortable and welcoming places for students to seek support.
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 called Link Crew through our Wellness Centers. Link Crew is a year-long high school transition program that welcomes freshmen and makes them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their high school experience. We train upperclassmen to become Link Leaders and teach them skills to better support themselves and their peers. The Link Leaders run a Freshmen Orientation, 9th-grade educational workshops and social follow-ups throughout the year.
We also provide opportunities for students to have an authentic voice in shaping school and community initiatives, such as:
Pride Clubs – a Gay-Straight Alliance club at Truckee High and North Lake Tahoe that supports LGBTQ+ youth and educates the school and the broader community about the broad spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities.
- Breaking Down the Walls- a program offered every other year designed to unify, empower, and engage every student to create a positive and supportive campus culture.
- 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 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:
- Mindfulness – a workshop that teaches students mindfulness techniques to calm their bodies, become aware of their thoughts and learn to focus their attention.
- 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.
A key strategy is our Wellness Hubs - a coordinated system of care between TTUSD, the Nevada and Placer Health and Human Services Departments, Tahoe Forest Hospital District and the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee that leverages community and school-based strategies to provide students with comprehensive health and wellness supports. The Hubs are comprised of the Wellness Centers, school-based Coordinated Care Teams, a Tahoe Forest Hospital Youth Health Navigator, county school-based therapists, What's Up Wellness mental health screenings, school nurses, school counselors, and psychologists at each site, Peer Mentor programs in the middle and high schools, enhanced social emotional-learning curriculums, drug, and alcohol preventative programming, a streamlined youth risk assessment, and 5150 process and a variety of peer support groups. Last year, we received the California School Board Association’s Golden Bell Award in recognition of our innovative Wellness Hub approach that reduces barriers and increases adolescents’ access to, and utilization of critical health services in the Tahoe Truckee region.
Wellness Center Locations and Hours
- North Tahoe High – The Wellness Center is located in Room 217 and is open Monday-Friday during school hours.
- Truckee High – The Wellness Center is located in Room 118 and is open Monday-Friday during school hours.