Wellness Corner: Letter to Parents

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Dear Mercersburg families,

As we face this unprecedented global health crisis, we are acutely aware of the effect an event like this can have on everyone's mental health. Social distancing is critical to slowing the spread of the disease, yet it runs counter to our instincts to be close to our friends and community—something that is especially important to teenagers and young adults. To quote the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.”  As a result, we have created a “Wellness Corner”  for you in Parent News where we will post resources and tips each week for mental health and wellness. 

In addition, the Counseling Department at Mercersburg Academy will be available to students and/or guardians for support during this time. Unfortunately, due to licensing regulations we are unable to provide ongoing psychotherapy for more serious concerns. We can provide support and solution-focused conversations geared toward helping students access other supports and resources. We have already reached out via email to many of our students and are talking about other ways we can connect with our students regarding their emotional experiences. We invite you to look to the Virtual 'Burg for updates. Please contact me (Susan Rahauser, LPC, director of counseling services) via email at rahausers@mercersburg.edu or by phone at 717-328-6104 and leave a message, or Jennifer Sipes, LCSW, school counselor, at sipesj@mercersburg.edu or 717-328-6344. Please note that responses may not be immediate.

If an immediate response is needed, such as in the case of a serious mental health emergency (feeling overwhelmed with sadness, depression, or anxiety, or having feelings of wanting to harm self or others), please contact your local mental health or crisis services, or any emergency resources, such as 911, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255), or the Disaster Distress Helpline (800-985-5990).

If you have any questions or concerns or have great resources to share, please be in touch.

Best wishes,

Susan Rahauser, M.S., NCC, LPC
Director of Student Counseling Services
Mercersburg Academy