By Jill Harlow – Loveland, Colorado …The Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) administrative board recently voted to financially support continued access to Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) for students and staff at Campion Academy.

Over the past two weeks, LPCs Sandy Eickmann and Kathy Aiken have volunteered their services to meet the needs of students and staff processing the grief of losing their friend, Timothy. However, Campion’s administration has recognized that the need for counselors will continue, not only for the immediate crisis, but for the growing mental health challenges facing teens in recent years.

RMC Educational Superintendent Diane Harris explained that after the need was brought to the conference administrators, they were “100 percent in support of making sure that all Campion students and staff had access to LPC’s.”

RMC voted to provide up to 10 hours of counseling services for any student or staff for the duration of this school year. Campion Academy is actively seeking to contract with a Christian LPC to start working with students immediately.

Women’s head dean Molly Santana commented, “Counseling is something we have needed on campus for a long time, so it is definitely a positive that it will be continuing. We want our students to know that we understand that the past two years have been unprecedented, causing feelings and experiences that haven’t been easy to deal with. We want them to have the support they need.”

Campion Academy students are not immune to the mental health issues that have sky-rocketed in teens in recent years. In October of 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry released a joint statement declaring the mental health crisis affecting children and adolescents a “National State of Emergency.”* In their statement, they advocate for more attention and funding to meet mental health needs of youth.

“We are so grateful to the Rocky Mountain Conference for filling this need at Campion Academy,” comments Principal Donavan Reeder. “Adventist Education not only seeks to give students academic knowledge but provide support for whole-person health: spiritual, physical, intellectual and social-emotional. Access to counselors will provide an important tool for our school to support students’ positive social-emotional health.”

–Jill Harlow is Campion Academy’s communication director; photo supplied