“Create a space to listen, ask curious questions, and help students to find stability in these very uncertain times." -- Ana Rogers, WJCS
We were thrilled to have a guest speaker from WJCS at our most recent YPIE “Coffee & Brew” to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and well-being of young people. More than 50 YPIE Graduation Coaches, YPIE Staff, and mental health professionals gathered virtually on Zoom to learn techniques for best supporting students as they navigate these uncertain times.
Ana Rodgers, LMSW, led the discussion and encouraged volunteers and staff to acknowledge the traumatic nature of a world event like COVID-19 on the lives of young people. Rodgers explained motivational interviewing as a technique to connect with students. At the most basic level, motivational interviewing is “joining [students] on the path, wherever they’re at with it… We want to approach them from a sense of compassion and empathy… It’s creating space to say I hear you, I see you, I support you.”
YPIE Graduation Coaches learned flexible and creative approaches to working with students at this time. Rodgers advised YPIE Graduation Coaches to “adjust yourself away from any expectations of students and adjust yourself to make space, to learn about adversity and to honor the experience students are having at this time. Show them that you still really care about the connection and that you want to meet them where they’re at.”
YPIE is grateful for WJCS’s ongoing partnership. Thank you to Ana Rodgers, LMSW, for your valuable insight on supporting our students’ mental health.