Visible Improvements with QR Codes All Over Campus

Jiyoon Choi, News Editor

With the return to in-person learning this year, Branham administration is trying to make mental resources more visibly available for students.

Put up by the Wellness Advisory Committee, QR codes with links to daily check-ins and mental health resources are found across campus. The QR codes lead to the new Wellness Center resources website that provides methods to calm down, Outreach lessons infographics and more. 

Principal Cheryl Lawton said that though resources such as counseling were readily available during distance learning, students said they were not aware of their existence. Making them ubiquitous — QR codes are found in every classroom — means students will hopefully take advantage of them.

“We kept hearing last year that there’s nothing available and ‘we don’t know where to find it,’” Lawton said. “But yes, there is. You just have to know where to find it.” 

Now that students are back at school, they are relearning social and academic skills.

“Now we’re back to the real world, and [students don’t know] how to survive in the world, don’t remember how to do it, especially with college coming up soon,” she said. “I just lost a year or two of high school and all of a sudden, boom, I have to figure out college applications.” 

Social worker Kevin Nguyen said that more students are utilizing the resources for stress management, even referring him to friends they’re concerned about. 

“It is amazing because this is exactly what we want to do, to promote these health-seeking behaviors, people looking out for each other and just knowing what to look for,” he said.

In addition to the online resources, Nguyen and the academic counselors work together to choose a topic for the month during Outreach classes. September’s focus was Suicide Prevention Month.

While they acknowledge the effort that goes into the Outreach lessons, some students see room for improvement. Junior Maggie Dong, who is a part of the Wellness Advisory Council and the co-president of the Mental Health Matters Club, said lessons could be more interactive, instead of information-filled slides.

“It can occasionally become tiresome and hard to retain,” she said, suggesting lessons make time for “discussions, conversations, and games and activities.”

Though the Wellness Center QR codes are in every classroom, Dong said that they end up not used because they’re now considered part of the class’ furniture.

“If I were not a part of this (Wellness) group, then I would not be as informed on these resources as I am now,” she said.

Nguyen with the Wellness Advisory Committee, counselors, and the administration are trying to create an encouraging environment on campus.

“We’re still working a lot together,” he said, “really trying to create that climate where students are coming back to (an environment that) … helps students feel supported.”