The Georgia Southern University chapter of the Chi Sigma Iota, an international honor society for counseling professionals and students, is seeking donations to create care packages for middle school students that contain stress-coping strategies and materials.
Members of Chi Sigma Iota at Georgia Southern include both clinical mental health and school counseling graduate students. Brittany Pieke, chapter treasurer and graduate student in the M.Ed. Counselor Education program, explained that counselors are seeing firsthand the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of students in Bulloch County.
“Counselors are noticing that middle school students are expressing more concerns of depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide during this time,” said Pieke. “We are hopeful that these calming kits will help students when they meet with the counselors and to help them cope with their feelings.”
The counselor education students are collecting funds to purchase headphones, fidget spinners, stress balls and reusable water bottles, as water fountains have been turned off as a safety precaution in many schools.
“While we wish we could provide for all the schools in Bulloch County, we decided to focus our current efforts on the four middle schools because those working in middle schools have noticed dramatic differences in mental health of students this year,” said Pieke.
For just $10, Pieke and the members of the Chi Sigma Iota society can provide one student with a complete calming kit.
“We would like to provide at least 10 kits to each of the four middle schools in Bulloch County,” said Pieke, “but only 10 kits at a school will go very quickly. We will create as many kits as we can to provide to these schools with the donations received.”
Members of Chi Sigma Iota are accepting cash, check or Venmo donations until March 10. Checks can be made out to Chi Sigma Iota and mailed to Georgia Southern University, P.O. Box 8032, Statesboro, Georgia, 30460, ATTN: Chi Sigma Iota. Venmo donations can be made to @kaylafitz.
For questions, please contact the chapter’s faculty advisor, Kristen Dickens, Ph.D., assistant professor of counselor education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.