Fresno Unified Wellness Hubs provide added social, emotional support for students

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As students continue to adjust to in-person learning at FUSD, they now have more support staff than ever before.

This year, Fresno Unified has launched two new wellness hubs to help students.

It's a focal point for a team of Fresno Unified psychologists, social workers and welfare specialists, ready to go out across the district and serve students as needed.

"We knew we were going to see an increase in depression, anxiety and stress of people coming back full time," said Director of Student Support Services Caine Christensen. "We wanted to increase the support to our students and families."

Fresno Unified's newest wellness hubs - each house a staff of six. This is in addition to wellness staff already working across the district at individual schools.

"They may have a psychologist or social worker, but some of our campuses have a large numbers of students and those site supports are focused on the students and it doesn't focus on how do we address other area of need," added Christensen.

The hubs are housed at McLane High School and each serve a different region of the district. Social workers, such as Noreida Perez, respond to different school sites and assess students' needs.

"Getting to know our specific sites, working alongside our administrators, really communicating what it is we do as an extension of support and figuring out how it is we can best support them," said Perez when describing some of the day-to-day tasks.

The team also focuses on working closely with Fresno Unified families and going out to meet them where they are.

"We're being very intentional about assessing the entire family and not just the student and the student needs," added Abigail Arii with FUSD Support Services.

They've already hit the ground running, walking hand in hand with families as they adjust to life back in the classroom.

"I think the disconnect we had in the last year and students missing the opportunity to learn in the classroom, it's a huge transition for a lot of people and a lot of the work we're doing is supporting those transitions," added Perez.

The wellness hubs operate on a referral system. Families who want to learn more about the resources can reach out to their school counselor.
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