Bowen Center Says Providing Plymouth Students with Grief Outlet

Work continues to help students at Plymouth High School grieve following the loss of a fellow classmate.

The Plymouth Community School Corporation contracts with the Bowen Center to provide mental health services to students. The non-profit supplies psychologists, nurses, and social workers to assess a range of needs.

Bowen Center County Director Nicole Fergison says they’ve been following the high school’s lead when assessing the situation.

“Our focus is on making sure the kids are grieving, whatever that looks like, and helping them through that grieving process,” says Fergison. “Being there if kids need to talk, if they’re having their own thoughts and concerns, whatever those might be.”

On Monday, Plymouth High School designated areas to host counselors. Students attended one-on-one and group conversations if they wished. Teachers were also allowed to recommend certain students meet with a counselor if they were deemed to be struggling with the situation.

The Bowen Center provided 10 staff members to the high school on Monday. As the number of students in need dwindles, the number of staff dedicated to the grieving process will also drop.

Fergison says families should encourage their students to reach out to natural support systems such as friends and family.

“If people are feeling anyway, themselves, their depression getting worse or if they’re starting to have thoughts about hurting themselves to seek help right away,” says Fergison.

The school corporation also provides services for employees. Right now, the Bowen Center has not seen teachers attend their sessions.

Fergison says it may take time for some educators due to the fact they are looking after student needs during their grieving process. Bowen Center staff have made a point to check-in on faculty to assess their needs as well.