DPIE CARE Grants Facilitates Opening of Long-Awaited Wellness Center at Dublin High School

DPIE Care Grants in Action
Michael Utsumi, Funding & Programs Coordinator
October 25, 2019

According to a 2013 Forbes article(1), “Of all the dramatic changes in higher education in recent years, one that goes largely unnoticed is the tremendous growth in the mission, services, and facilities of health centers. Decades ago, most colleges and universities believed their only responsibility for student health was to set up a clinic to treat the sick and injured. Today, driven by a broader and, in our judgment, better understanding of health and its impact on learning, many institutions of higher education provide much more.”  Anecdotally, the level of stress experienced by students is present in secondary education and the opportunity to address it has existed for many years. However, two of the barriers that have delayed its delivery have been funding and an adequate space. In 2019, those two barriers have been conquered and a Wellness Center at Dublin High School was christened in September. 

Wellness Center Cutting Ceremony

Superintendent David Marken, Principal Maureen Byrne, Mayor David Harbert and others at the cutting ceremony.

In a highly distinctive collaboration between DUSD and the community, Dublin High now has the ability to deliver a service that has the potential to benefit the student body as a whole. The challenge was two-fold. For one, this type of service/facility needed to be separate from the singular structures featured about the campus, thus any student would have the opportunity to enter the Wellness Center anonymously and without judgement. Therefore, it could not be housed in the Counseling office or the HUB. Secondly, the center would need to be either a constructed or repurposed space which also needed to be furnished. Oftentimes, despite its true value, these funds are not always readily available. In combination with grants from Dublin Partners in Education, Fremont Bank and other contributors, the wheels were set into motion. What seemed like an unattainable dream for over 10 years became a reality with the simple cutting of a ribbon on a mid-September morning. 

Support by Fremont Bank

We had the opportunity to collect some feedback from two key district figures in response to a very simple question.

DPIE: Please articulate the importance of now having a stand-alone Wellness Center on campus. What might this mean to students that are seeking out support?

Superintendent David Marken: “The concept of a stand-alone Wellness Center lends significant credibility to the need of both student privacy and, also the school and district believe it is important enough to have designated mental health and wellness staff to meet the needs of our students. I feel strongly that our students are at risk, when significant life changes happen to them. For our students, it means that we take their needs seriously.”

Principal Maureen Byrne: “The Wellness Center is beginning to pick up momentum. Students know it is a quiet, safe and calming space to be in. It is great to have a dedicated space away from the hustle of our various offices. Having it slightly off the beaten track is nice. It is very accessible yet also removed and for some students even that makes a difference.”

The Board of Directors and Staff at DPIE are delighted to know that a portion of the CARE Grant to Dublin High School was devoted to the development of this center that will benefit students for many years to come. As referenced in the earlier article, a broader and better understanding of health is necessarily for the success of all students – at any level.

(1) Skorton & Altschuler FORBES 9-23-13.