Meet the Student Support Specialists

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Student Support Specialists Megan Babcock and Jodie Shurtleff (Photo courtesy of Cynthia Mindicino)

Naomi Gan, Reporter

The return to campus this fall has brought about excitement, joy and renewal, but has also resurfaced a lot of anxiety and stress. For students, all these emotions can be difficult to process alone. 

This is where our student support specialists come in. 

Megan Babcock and Jodie Shurtleff are both on-campus Sage therapists at PVHS who work with students to discuss mental health.

It is evident that Babcock and Shurtleff have a deep passion for providing support to students as they navigate the challenges of being a highschooler.

“I want to be able to provide therapy where students need it most, at school,” Shurtleff said.

“I work with high schoolers because it is such an important, fun, and formative time of life,” Babcock said.

“I pursued a career in therapy because I love walking alongside people as they heal, grow and explore.”

To Babcock and Shurtleff, providing a safe space in which students can freely express their thoughts and feelings is key. 

“My main goal is to provide a safe, warm, welcoming, and nonjudgmental space for students to process tough experiences and emotions,” Shurtleff said.

Through therapy sessions, they wish for students to feel validated and empowered. They want students to walk away with confidence knowing they are capable of dealing with difficult emotions. 

“Ultimately, I just want students to know that they matter and are worthy of the space to pursue healing and growth in areas of mental health,” Babcock said.

The two student support specialists are essential to the Sea King community. In classrooms, Shurtleff and Babcock spark important dialogues about mental health awareness and mental health resources. 

Through their one-on-one therapy sessions, they offer a welcoming space open to all students.

“Seeing a Sage therapist is free, confidential, and we are easily accessible, which is important to me because I know cost and access can be barriers in receiving mental health services,”  Shurtleff said.

“I feel very fortunate to be a resource at school for students struggling with mental health concerns.”