Implementation of an anonymous helpline will boost student morale, wellbeing


Photo by Lauren Hassell '22

In order to boost student morale, Staples must introduce an anonymous helpline for students to converse about mental health, stress or personal issues.

The onset of social isolation came hand-in-hand with disruption to daily routines. From the inability to socialize without the use of video chatting platforms to the stress of the inescapable, formidable news, the path to finding one’s way back to a normal life is toiling and potentially detrimental to an individual’s mental health. People have coped with these obstacles in various forms; however, Staples has yet to offer an accessible alternative to those still struggling with these drastic life changes.

Throughout the extensive quarantine, I found myself struggling to be alone with my thoughts. I needed an escape; technological connections were never enough. However, even on the most difficult of days, I had no idea how to open up to others about the problems I was facing. 

Having this help service at Staples can significantly improve the wellbeing of the student body

I suffered from the fears of not being able to properly articulate my feelings, judgemental responses and people solely keeping me around out of pity. I still struggle with these fears, but I know I am not alone. I know there are teenagers around me also unsuccessfully searching for an outlet. 

This requires the need for a solution: an anonymous helpline for those suffering from mental illnesses, stress or issues within their personal life. Anonymity is the most crucial aspect of this proposed implementation; students may fear a lack of confidentiality or face an embarrassment of vulnerability. To ensure the students’ identities remain unknown, they can call the school helpline with an anonymous number during school hours. Guidance counselors or other support teachers can be asked to answer the phone, taking rotations. This method essentially serves as a free therapy session, something many are in need of as therapists tend to cost between $60 to $120 per session.  

Having this help service at Staples can significantly improve the wellbeing of the student body. Although meetings with guidance counselors serve as an opportunity for students to speak on their state, COVID-19 has taken away some of the authenticity of these meetings due to most of them being held over Zoom. Additionally, guidance meetings do not have the anonymity this helpline would provide; therefore, students may be more willing to share personal information and seek help. 

Sudden life changes are easy on no one, especially teenagers, like myself, discovering how to navigate themselves through adolescence. An anonymous outlet can provide comfort and support for those who may feel like they have no one to turn to. Staples as a whole will ultimately benefit from increased student morale and healthy student-staff connections.