A local Lake Havasu City organization is working with the school district to help address the mental health needs of students.
Hospice of Havasu has partnered with Lake Havasu High School to run a grief group for students who need support. The group started their weekly sessions this past Tuesday with six teens in attendance.
According to LHHS counselor Deanna Ainsworth, the high school has previously run grief groups with other partners in the past. LHHS first partnered with Hospice of Havasu last year but the covid pandemic forced the group to meet virtually which didn’t pan out, Ainsworth said.
Now with school back in the classroom and amid an ever-changing world, Ainsworth said that more and more students are coming to counselors with issues that aren’t academic.
“You name it, we have seen it,” Ainsworth said. “I don’t think the issues we are seeing are any different, I think the number of students is just larger.”
As part of the partnership Hospice of Havasu is sending over some of its own specialized staff to lead group sessions.
“We have a couple of kids interested so we’re going to start with a six week session,” Ainsworth said. “(Hospice) has two bereavement counselors who will actually come on campus and run the small group.”
While this year’s group is just getting started it is a little too soon to tell how sessions are going but Ainsworth says that the response to previous years’ group sessions have been positive.
“Any type of support we can provide our students has been positive and we have gotten some great feedback,” Ainsworth said. “I think it has just been hard to get back into the swing of life after covid.”
Ainsworth says that any high school student who is interested in joining the group just has to go and speak with their counselor.
According to Hospice of Havasu Community Outreach Director Michelle Gardia, the nonprofit provides grief counseling to anyone in the community who needs the service.