Rockbridge County High School hires additional counselors after student mental health survey

The study showed 17% of students said they had thoughts, feelings of hurting themselves or death by suicide, school leaders said

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – Rockbridge County High School is taking action after a recent school survey showed alarming results concerning the mental health of students.

“It was approximately 17% of our students have said that they had those thoughts or feelings of hurting themselves or death by suicide,” explained Principal Dr. Mike Craft.

Craft said he’s seeing a mental health crisis in his school.

“I’ve been in this a long time, and progressively I’ve seen over the years that our students are in a mental health crisis and it just seems to be getting worse,” he explained.

This trend isn’t unique to Rockbridge County – Sheila Lythgoe with Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare said they’re seeing similar concerns in Roanoke as well as across the nation.

“Our numbers have been higher with our students reporting struggling with their mental health, especially the last few years with COVID and how that’s impacted them,” said Lythgoe.

To try and help students cope, Rockbridge County High School hired an additional school counselor, bringing their total to four in the building.

They also partnered with outside agencies to bring in a second school intervention specialist.

“They’ve provided us with these resources, like more counselors and access to resources outside of the school,” said Craft. “We’re trying to address the issues, do we have all the answers, certainly not, but we are trying our best to meet the needs of our students, social and emotional needs.”

Below you can find some mental health resources.

About the Author

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.