Irvington Plans Virtual Wellness Center


The Irvington Wellness Commitee has circulated a stress survey around social media to better gauge mental health needs during the shelter in place.

On Monday, May 11, Irvington released a COVID-19 Stress Survey to determine the most pressing mental health needs for students that would ultimately play an important role in establishing a Virtual Wellness Center. The VWC is a step towards furthering Irvington’s mental health efforts in the midst of uncertain times during the pandemic.

The VWC, once fully established, is intended to be a permanent branch of Irvington’s existing Wellness Center, which opened in the beginning of this 2019-2020 school year. The VWC committee (comprised of both Health teachers Julien Goulet and Melanie Gavin, Assistant Principal John Honerkamp, all Irvington counselors, school psychologist Yvette Helmers, and speech-language pathologist Vijithra Balajee) has secured funds from Kaiser and plans to publish content mainly over Google Classroom, intending to make the VWC “a portal to online resources, therapeutic and fun activities, games, and synchronous interventions”, according to Honerkamp. 

“The categories we currently imagine are mindfulness activities, physical health activities, online games, arts and crafts, cooking, journaling, specialist office hours, support groups, and community resources,” said Honerkamp. “The Kaiser funding will help pay for initial annual subscriptions and licenses.”

The VWC committee has worked with Irvington’s Associated Student Government (ASG), the school’s Mental Health task force, and PTSA to consider as much input from all aspects when creating the VWC platform. It’s 20 question COVID-19 Stress Survey is also a crucial part of gathering information for the VWC and will close on Monday, May 18.

In a message to the Irvington community, Health teacher Goulet said, “IHS is working to roll out a Virtual Wellness Center in order to continue supporting students’ mental health. Please check your loopmail for a Covid-19 Stress Survey. Data provided by the survey will help us address the most pressing wellness needs of students for the duration of the shelter in place. Thank you for your support!”

You can find the survey here.