The Hamilton counselors create a safe environment for students to share their concerns in a confidential setting. Students can arrange to see their counselor either by asking their classroom or homeroom teacher to excuse them to see the counselor or by filling out a self-referral form and dropping it into one of the three counseling drop boxes (located on each floor of Hamilton). Please feel free to contact the counselors with any concerns!
There are four primary areas in which the counselors aim to provide support to students:
Academic Planning/Scheduling Assistance - Help students attain the schedules they need in order to be challenged academically. Help students who need accommodations or individual educational plans in order to be successful.
Testing - Assist with testing interpretation and assessment information.
Career Development - Help link current activities, interests, and abilities to future jobs and careers. Help students explore their interests, try new things, and uncover the future world of work and what it holds.
Personal/Social Assistance - Work with students when problems or concerns arise with friends, family, and peers. Offer group counseling and skills building to help strengthen relationships and foster academic success.
High School & Beyond Information and Resources
Second Step Coping Skills
Dear Hamilton Family:
As you may already know, during homeroom every Thursday students are participating in lessons from theSecond Step program. Students at all grade levels are learning about different coping skills to deal with strong emotions such as stress, anger, anxiety, and to handle difficult situations such as pressure to engage in risky behavior (e.g. using drugs and alcohol).
We know many students are feeling stress and anxiety from pressure to do well in school and to be socially accepted by their peers. They may also be experiencing new feelings and circumstances in their lives including: biological, social, emotional, and possibly geographical transitions.
New brain studies show that during their teenage years and into their twenties, young people’s brains are still developing. These studies show that using alcohol and drugs at this time has a far more damaging effect than it does on the adult’s brain. The good news is that studies show that families can play a big role in preventing the use of alcohol and other drugs by young people.
Here are five things YOU can do to make a difference:
- Give your student a clear message that it is NOT okay to drink or use other drugs. Discuss personal, family, social, or religious values that give your student reasons to not use.
- Arrange for supervision for your student between 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. Research suggests that these are peak hours for teen drug and alcohol use.
- Get to know your student’s friends and their families. You can help each other keep your students safe.
- Help your student make a plan for how he/she might resist both internal and external pressure to use.
- Make sure an adult is supervising any party your student attends.
Any reminders that you can make to students about practicing the following coping skills that they are learning at Hamilton can help them form healthy habits that will stay with them throughout their lives. Some of the coping skills that students are learning (and hopefully practicing) are:
Calming down strategies:
- Deep breathing
- Counting down
- Listening to music
- Physical activity
- Using positive self-talk
- Changing and adjusting attitude
Please be aware that students often get alcohol and other drugs (e.g. prescription), especially inhalants from their own homes. Together we can help keep your student safe and healthy.
Hamilton School Counseling Department
Visit the following websites to learn more about Second Step:
NeighborCare Health Mental Health Therapist & Prevention Specialist
The NeighborCare MHT position is supported by King County, specifically through Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD4c) funds. The position is full-time during the school year and is located within Hamilton’s Counseling Department. A month-long summer program is also supported by this position in collaboration with the YMCA.
The Mental Health Therapist and Prevention Specialist position allows for a certain degree of flexibility based on school and community culture. The position requires providing mental health and substance abuse services with a focus on prevention, early intervention, screening, and referral to treatment. Caseload activities may include drop-in interactions, crisis intervention, individual therapy, group therapy and family therapy. Case management activities may include coordination and collaboration with school staff, family members, and outside providers. The NeighborCare MHT serves as an advocate for emotional and behavioral concerns and assists with outreach activities to support the goals of NeighborCare Health, Hamilton International Middle School and the community.
For more information about NeighborCare Health School-Based Centers, please contact Nicholas Canavas, NeighborCare Health School-Based Health Center Manager at 206-595-2071.