Spartans Supporting Spartans

Cassidy Bleifus, Staff Writer

Mayo High School is making a great effort to connect with students and offer more help both for academics and mental health. Two organizations which Mayo staff have been working hard to promote are the TOPS room and the SOS room. 

The TOPS (Teens Offering Peer Support) room offers a special type of peer support in a calm, relaxing, and safe environment. Room 2-202 is meant to be used by students to go and talk to other students about anything they are struggling with, or just to sit alone and take a break from the day. When first entering the room, there is a QR code that when scanned leads to an appointment form for yourself, or if you have a friend that is struggling. You can fill this out for anything, whether you need a pep talk, a fellow student to vent to, help with homework, or a way to deal with mental health struggles. Filling this digital form out gives the staff an idea of who to contact and for what specific purpose. 

As Mrs. Ekert pointed out, “Mayo is a big school, and it’s hard for staff to know when someone is struggling and needs help.” The SOS room is a place where you can go to find clothes, shoes, hygiene supplies, food, gas cards, and many other things that you may need outside of school. 

One person who serves as a fantastic resource in the SOS room is Elsa Salazar, who is a housing specialist. She works with students who have issues with housing, like not having a place to live or needing to escape an unstable home environment. If you are in a situation that seems similar to these, Ms. Salazar is the person you’ll want to meet.

Overall, the Mayo staff is working hard and pushing for students to find an adult or peer whom they can trust and go to when they need someone to talk to. Also a recent change, the guidance office is now a place where you go, much like in the nurse’s office. You can provide information through a form, so no one else has to hear why you are in there or what you are needing help with. 

Mayo counselors offer a great place to seek help. Reaching out to them to start with is a great way to find whom you need to connect with for just about anything. Along with the counselors, there is a quiet place outside of their offices meant for students to sit and take breaks, to work on homework if they need to, or just to be alone. 

There are also plenty of clubs and organizations that are offered through Mayo that can help you meet new people and to make school a little easier for you. These clubs and activities can be found on the school’s website and by connecting with staff and students. 

So if you are feeling like you need a little bit of help, some support, or a quiet place of refuge, your Spartan family has you covered. The S.O.S. room, T.O.P.S. room, Guidance Department, and many other resources are filled with people wanting to make Mayo a welcoming and safe place for everyone.