HOPKINS, Minn. (WCCO) -- Students returning to Hopkins High School this fall will have an added resource.
Mental health professionals will be available on campus for one-on-one counseling.
Reg Chapman reports it's an effort to go beyond writing and arithmetic.
Superintendent of Hopkins Schools, Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, says her goal is to take the district from great to world class.
"We need to make sure that our students feel balanced and are healthy in terms of their social, emotional and mental health needs," Mhiripiri-Reed said.
Mhiripiri-Reed says the district's plans to open wellness centers at Hopkins High and then at both junior high schools will put them on the path of being a world-class operation.
"We've been really doing a lot to destigmatize mental health in the school," said Hopkins High School Principal Doug Bullinger.
Bullinger says students and parents need this support and welcome the help from staff and outside agencies.
"What's really important is the value of our own relationship with students," Bullinger said. "Students will see familiar faces when they walk into our counseling office, for example, and we'll do an assessment of like, 'What are you going through? What can we help you with?'"
And parents agree.
"What parents have told us over and over again is that they are so grateful to have the schools and the district be a partner to them," Mhiripiri-Reed said.
These mental health centers will be a safe haven for students to get a reboot, a recharge to deal with all they have on their plate.
"We want to teach our students how to talk openly about mental health needs and about social anxiety and depression and all forms of emotional challenges," Mhiripiri-Reed said.
The Hopkins education foundation donated the money needed to add the extra counselors.
The wellness center opens this fall.
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