New Resource Offers Mental Health Support

As another resource for students, Fenwick has launched Support4U. The idea for this program was introduced to Fenwick by Ms. Drennan.

She first heard about this initiative from Andy Duran, executive director of an agency called LEAD. In one of his presentations, Mr. Duran mentioned one of his agency’s programs, “Text-a-Tip.”

This resource, also referred to as “Support4U,” has been used by several communities in the area, such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Percy Julian Middle Schools, Oak Park River Forest High School in Oak Park, and now, Fenwick.

When asked why this program was introduced to Fenwick, Ms. Drennan says, “We have seen an increase in stress with students, so to have an additional resource we can provide them would be a no brainer.” Fenwick wants to equip students with all the resources possible to relieve the stress aspect of their lives, and Support4U aids in this objective.

This program is an anonymous, confidential, 24/7 resource that connects students to mental health professionals, who support them with any issues they may be having. Every school is given their own “code word” and phone number.

If students are having any type of issue, whether it be anxiety, stress, bullying, abuse, or any mental health problems, they are able to text the word FRIARS to the phone number 884-670-5838 and talk through their problems with a professional.

Additionally, this professional will guide students to other resources, including those at school such as counselors and social workers.

Students may use this resource for any problems they have. Ms. Drennan says, “We do not want our students to think it is just for certain types of issues; it can be used for any issue.” It is important that students know that this resource is not only for high-risk problems such as suicidal ideation or depression. Although this resource has helped with these types of issues at other schools, it can help with the countless other issues that students have.

Although Fenwick provides students with a myriad of resources, some students do not feel comfortable using these resources for their personal issues.
Ms. Drennan says, “We know some students do not want to talk to anyone at school, so this could be a great resource for these students.”

As an anonymous and confidential resource, Support4U will be able to help these students, without putting them in an uncomfortable position.

Also, because this resource is operating 24/7, students will always have a resource available. If students are ever facing any problems, and the school is on a break, or students are not able to contact their counselor, they can use Support4U.

Fenwick wants students to have access to help whenever they need it, and Support4U makes this possible.

Even though Support4U is a great new resource for students, they should not forget about the countless other resources available to them.

Ms. Drennan says “It is a supplement, counselors are still here for students; it is not meant to detour students from Student Services, it is meant to act as an additional resource for students.”

For Fenwick, the goal of Support4U is to help students cope with any problems that are effecting their lives. All students find themselves overwhelmed and stressed at certain points in their lives, and they should know they do not have to struggle through these issues on their own.

Whether it be Support4U, a teacher, or anyone in Student Services, students are surrounded by people who will always be there to help them when they need it.