Everybody is stressed out these days, with work, family and the economy. So it's good to see that Diamond Bar High is actually doing something about it.
It offers stress management training for its peer counselors. Those are the 65 students trained to support their classmates on the Brahmas campus.
"We're here to support classmates who need someone to talk to about any problems they're having," explained senior Nyla Simjee. "It helps to have someone your own age to talk to."
Julie Kim was taking the training because she said a peer counselor had helped her last year with some family issues.
"It really helped me, so now I want to help other students," the 18-year-old said.
The teens were talking about stress management in Sandra Davis' class. Davis is an English teacher who serves as the faculty adviser for peer counseling.
The teens were learning about stress indicators as well as techniques to manage a stressful situation. They even learned that not all stress is bad, that it can be useful in certain situations.
"I'm stressed about my upcoming concert and album" said one student portraying a famous singer in a celebrity skit.
"I'm angry all the time," added a student playing a well-known rapper.
Afterward, the students would explain the different stressors shown by the famous stars. They would also address ways to mitigate the negative behavior.
"Remember there is positive and negative stress," Davis advised. "The negative is called distress."
The high school instructor, who has been named one of Los Angeles County's Teachers of the Year, said the peer counseling program has been very successful.
"This is a group of kids who are very motivated, they want to help other teens," Davis said. "They take a year of training so they are equipped to help their classmates."
Freshmen aren't allowed to sign up for the elective class because they're already dealing with the big move to high school.
"The peer counselors are very mature for their age. They're ready to help other teens," she said.
PHOTO by Watchara Phomicinda, San Gabriel Valley Tribune:
Circle of trust, Sandy Davis trains peer counselors at Diamond Bar High School.