The Wellness Center Story
The pandemic has uncovered alarming rates of psychological distress in our youth and the urgent need for increased services and support. But even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health challenges were the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people.
In 2019, the Home & School Club and Principal Kara Butler put together a wish list for the money raised by the Home & School Club that year. Principal Butler had the foresight to make student mental health projects a priority on that list. With this in mind, the Home & School Club established a new committee, Mental Health & Wellness chaired by Leigh parent Kristin Welter, and also prioritized funding of mental health and wellness projects at Leigh.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, many mental health and wellness projects were canceled. Kristin and her team put all of their efforts into researching Wellness Centers at other schools. The idea seemed like a great fit for Principal Butler's mission to create a culture that prioritizes mental health and wellness, and improves access to mental health education and services for students on campus.
It took about a year and a lot of masterminding to find the perfect space and to source staffing. It then took many weeks of planning and preparation, followed by 3 weekends and 38 volunteers, to transform an empty classroom into a warm and inviting space. The Wellness Center opened its doors to students on January 25th, 2022.
Thank you to Principal Butler whose vision to prioritize mental health for students at Leigh is what drove this project. A very special thank you to Kristin Welter, Leigh parent and Home & School Club Mental Health & Wellness Committee Chair, who collaborated with Mrs. Butler and our Leigh Staff to accomplish this vision and create a beautiful space for our students.
Thank you to our Home & School Club who provided the funding to create this space. We are truly grateful to our Leigh community for their very generous donations. This money was used to purchase furniture, materials, paint, etc and to fund a consultant to support our Wellness Center planning and outreach. Many parents and students also volunteered their time, and spent countless hours shopping, cleaning, painting, and decorating. Thank you to everyone for your support and for making a difference for our students.
We also want to thank the CUHSD Education Foundation for their very generous donation to the Wellness Center. This money will be used to fund additional materials and mental health & wellness programs in the center.