JH counselors help students help themselves


Eva Ludke

JH counselor (last names M-Z), Becky Junewick, standing outside of the counseling office. Junewick, along with her co-workers, provide an outlet for JH students to destress in a very academically-charged environment.

Having stable mental health is an essential aspect of living that everyone should strive to maintain, yet even those of us who are aware of the impact of mental health still struggle to treat it properly. The number of children who deal with mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, increases more and more each year. For students, the need to address any psychiatric distress they have during their junior high years is dire while their brains are still maturing.

Becky Junewick is a JH counselor, and she is just one of the many resources that WHHS has to offer to help and treat students in need. Junewick has been working as a counselor for seven years, two of which have been spent at WHHS. These years have given her insight on the mental health of WHHS students. 

“I think the cause for most stress among JH kids is just dealing with a lot of change and transformation,  who my friends are, who I  am and trying to figure all that out.” Junewick said. “At Walnut there’s a lot of academic-related stress and anxiety just because there’s a lot of high expectations.”

Junewick considers stress to be caused by a range of factors, but an element common among JH kids is they are not honest with each other, so they think they are alone in what they are dealing with because they don’t share.

“Just connections with people, having someone to talk to and relate to…Which I think is sometimes difficult right now because we’re all just coming out of spending a lot of time in isolation,” Junewick said. ”I think sometimes the phones are great connectors but I also think they are great at severing connections in a way.” 

School, stress and phones are not all sources of stress for everyone. Someone can experience stress due to a number of things that might trouble them. Just because something out of the ordinary is weighing anyone down mentally, that does not mean they are alone in how they feel, because they never are. 

One of the great things about WHHS are the several resources for seeking help or guidance when struggling with mental health. There are seven total counselors, a mental health specialist anda Mental Health Self Care Guide within the WHHS website with everything from the benefits of self care to a plan for seeking those benefits. And of course, there are also friends, peers and teachers who are always within an email or a text’s reach.

“The schools’ environment towards mental health is not bad, my friends are pretty good; I don’t know about anyone else, but my teachers are pretty understanding about stuff,” Laura Vanderelst, ‘27, said.