Counselors: how they care, cater and advocate for the student body.

Becky Junewick a tried and true counselor for the youth.

Terra Nelson, Staff Writer & Photographer

While most students see school counselors closer to aliens than people, Becky Junewick, seventh and eighth grade counselor, is breaking the stigma and sharing a slice of what the job is really like. 

“School counselors work in three basic domains.  Academic–helping students with all aspects of their academic careers. Social/Emotional–working with students to manage stressors and using short-term solution-focused counseling to help students navigate their school day.  College and Career–helping students explore careers of interest and guiding them in the direction to help them obtain their goals,” Junewick said. 

After eight years of being a school counselor, Becky Junewick has helped with a Varity of student needs.  

“I see students struggling with a range of difficulties.  Many struggle with stress and anxiety and various mental health concerns.  Students struggle with pressures from home and school and managing their expectations as well.” 

While dealing with so many students who rely on her can be damaging to her mental health,  Junewick says she has it under control. 

“Practicing self-care strategies and seeking therapy when things get too difficult for self-strategies.” 

Junewick says for how she keeps her mental issues at bay, but even the hard parts have glorious rewards. 

“Before I came to Walnut Hills I worked with a student who struggles with behavioral issues as well as academic issues for a number of factors outside of her control.  I worked together with the mental health team in our school as well as her teachers to make sure she was in the right classes, so she could catch up on what she needed to be successful in high school.  She had an amazing teacher who prepared her and she went into high school feeling supported and ready!”

Luckily for Junewick, she had all the right resources to dive into this profession. 

“My mom is a school counselor and my dad was an educator as well.  Throughout my life, I saw the impact they had on their community by being involved in the school system.  At first, I didn’t want to be an educator, but over time, I felt more drawn to this career.” 

She also endorses the psychiatry field with a fair warning. 

“Do your research.  There are so many careers related to the field of counseling and psychology and the education levels vary greatly as well as the career possibilities.”

The most known part of a counselor’s job by far is how they interact with students and how they proceed when a student approaches a crisis. 

“Seek professional help,” Junewick said. “When mental health concerns arise there are trained professionals that can help.  It’s also important to figure out what self-help strategies work for you.  Sometimes it is hard to access needed services and it’s helpful to have strategies available to ease mental health symptoms until you can connect with a professional”.  

According to the American Psychiatric Association, Junewick is beyond correct as psychotherapy has been shown to improve emotional and psychological well-being over and over again. Another concern with talking to counselors about mental health is if their care genuinely works considering they are no longer teens. 

I think teens today have it much more difficult than I did.  Social media adds a whole new layer to peer pressures and social engagement issues.  The state of the world is much different as well and at times that creates a more stressful environment for students”.

Despite the challenges and triumphs in her daily work, Junewick never looked back. 

“Being a counselor has been very rewarding for me.  I love my interaction with students.  I appreciate that my days never look the same.  I love being part of the school community in many different capacities”